Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hand-beaded Beads/A Bead is just a Bead or Is it?

I have always liked beaded beads and all the possibilities of patterns and designs that they present.  I just completed making this one.  I started out with a felted bead and just started beading away using a four bead back-stich all around it until it was completely covered in beads.  I then used my wigjig spiral maker to make bead caps to finish off the bead. 
When I showed the bead to my husband he was amazed at how many tiny beads I stitched onto the felted bead to make just one bead.  He commented that I must have been very bored.  I didn’t make it out of boredom.  Because of the repetitive nature of beadwork I use it as a calming, stress relieving activity.   While I was working on the bead I found myself in a very meditative, balanced, focused, and calm state of mind.  The repetitive nature of beadwork lends itself to become a vehicle for the balancing of body, spirit, and mind.
  At one point in our lives my husband was very involved in Tae Kwon Do and earned a black belt.  I also took lessons at that time and remember the statement that a punch is but a punch, then a punch becomes more than a punch, and then a punch once again becomes but a punch.  What this statement meant is that initially when you are starting out to learn how to punch, a punch is just the physical act of throwing a punch.  After learning how to focus and balance your body, mind, and spirit, a punch becomes much more than a punch.  It becomes infused with the force of Qi (the belief in the energetic life force that surrounds us and is available to us which is also the basis of martial arts, yoga, acupuncture, chiropractic therapy,  Zen practices, and Reiki).  The punch becomes a vehicle to focus and balance your body, mind, and spirit.  This state is comparable to the focused state of mind athletes need to develop for competition, the focused state of mind that artists experience when they are completely focused on the act of creation. But after the knowledge and practice of how to focus and balance the body, mind, and spirit to act as one, a punch once again becomes but a punch.  It becomes a natural and commonplace act to throw your punch in this balanced, focused state.
Beadwork, needlework, serving tea, even washing the dishes by hand, can all be accomplished in this state of focus, balance, mindfulness with practice. After practicing how to focus on the act of beading in this way it just becomes part of the process of beading.    A bead is just a bead, a bead is more than a bead, a bead is just a bead………..

1 comment:

  1. You're right Marla - it becomes contemplative and once the techniques are learned, instinct takes over. Nice.