i and we


I had no idea I that was in this photo when Christina took it. I wouldn't have let her take it if I had known, but Christina can be sneaky about such things. She has a way at getting at the essence of people. Plus, her mixture of matter of fact honesty and genuine caring have always made me trust and respect her.

I am glad she took it. This whole project has been a challenge for me and I am glad she took a photo that acknowledges this challenge. I had to do something besides be introverted and privately making over the weekends after my long teaching days and 3 hour daily commute. I had to engage with my friends and community.

And, it was my friends and community that made this project happen. I'm not sure when the idea came to mind. I remember talking to my friend Kathy about it at an ESL conference. I probably also took advantage of my colleague Geoff's ear upon more than one occasion during the commute to think the idea through. And E, my partner. She may be grumpy, but she always listens. My good friend Sarah introduced me to suction cup hooks and helped propel the visual idea into motion. Liz Moore, the Executive Director of the Peace and Justice Action League has always been open to my crazy ideas. Let's also not forget the scary times that we live in. I/we had to do something.

And so the we helped the I create a project that was centered on the we. It was the we that stitched the very individualistic I statements onto baby onesies to create a collective we statement.

Krista, Joni, Charise, Erica, Erin, Diana, Geri, Susan, Christina, Ayuko, Linda, Jeanne, Sue, Gail, Jeannie, Sharon, Sarahi, Ami, Jodi, Nikki, Tay, Saraina, Adam, Abra, Tom, Helena, Mary, ... please help me with any names that I am missing. I know more onesies are on their way.

It was also the we of Kim at Kizuri who helped me finally solidify a date for a first showing and the we of Allison at Boots Bakery who was open to all my stitch sessions.

And so, I want to acknowledge my dream and constant efforts that made this first installation happen, but also want to be cognizant that this whole project needed a we that responded full force.

I asked a few friends the other day if the project now should be called "we are the future" or "i am the future." Because of the pace of life, we settled on i; however, we agreed that the onesies are a we.  Perfect metaphor for a country that itself struggles between the two.

As of today, there are 63 finished onesies. We are still hoping for 100 by installation day on September 9. There will be sticth-a-longs aka open times to come and comment, talk, and perhaps and hopefully stitch every Saturday in September from 12:00 - 2:00 in the Community Building, 35 W Main, Spokane, WA

After September, I would like the onesies to continue to grow and travel around our Inland Northwest community and perhaps even further to spark conversations. I/We are open to suggestions as to locations. Eventually, perhaps the onesies could be auctioned off for a legal fund for immigrants. These are still developing ideas.