At the beginning of the year, I created a macrame wall hanging titled “Burn It Down”, partly inspired by a John Reuben song I was listening to at the time. I never could have guessed how prophetic it would be for this crazy year, both personally and globally.
In January, I suspected I was starting my cycle again after the birth of my last child. Turns out I was in my pre-menstrual phase when I conceptualized this macrame design, as well as grappling with the pointlessness of life and the deep dark void again. Back to black.
This design is actually a colorful re-imagining of another piece I created last autumn. My concept was that I was creating a sort of upside down fire theme. Being that fire has long been symbolized as an upward pointing triangle, I was perturbed that my fire triangles were pointing downwards. Everything was upside down, which seemed rather odd.
I began a major binge of John Reuben’s music as I began working on this piece, mostly listening to his album Sex, Drugs and Self-Control. My favorite song happened to be “Burn It Down”. At some point I finally realized the connection- my downward pointing fire triangles were symbolizing the concept of burning down. And that’s when I knew I needed to make the final bottom triangle black- returning to nothing, starting over. Back to black.
Burn it down
Build it back
Let’s start from scratch
Watch it collapse
It’s bound to crash
-John Reuben, “Burn it Down”
A month later, during my next pre-menstrual phase, I described my overall feelings and impressions, having no practical idea what it meant:
March 4th, 2020: I just feel like setting fire to everything and watching it burn, just so I can start all over again. Welcome to the pre-menstrual phase. I want to destroy and create at the same time. It’s magical and frightening.
How little I knew what was coming. Shortly after I wrote those words, the COVID19 pandemic descended upon the United States and my own life turned upside down with some major shifts, including a very sudden and unexpected move. All sense of stability fell apart.
Then came the riots. Then came the wildfires. Burning, burning.
We are beginning to recognize, now more than ever, how corrupted and unsustainable our institutions and systems are. We cannot simply modify and improve them- so many are rotten to the core; their foundations are antithetical to all of life. It’s time to burn it all down and start over.
I’ve heard some spiritual feminists talk about how humanity is currently in its own pre-menstrual/inner autumn phase. When not supported well enough through the rest of her cycle, a woman can turn majorly bitchy before her period, as she’s suddenly grappling with all the truth she failed to honor and speak until that point. Autumn is a time of harvest, and we reap both the good and the bad. We are now collectively reaping the evils we have planted for generations and even millenia.
As I said in that prophetic moment of my pre-menstrual phase: I feel like burning it all down and starting over. 2020 has been one hell of a year.
I am finally able to finish and post this piece, purely by coincidence, on election day here in the U.S. (woke up to snow which finally gave me the perfect lighting to photograph this macrame piece!) I know deep in my bones that no matter who wins, good things are on the way. Whatever devastations may come, good things are coming too. Fire burns and destroys, but it also illuminates and restores. Let the fires of our time burn away what no longer serves you and illuminate that which can never be destroyed: LOVE. Look for Love in all things and you will find it, and it will lead you to appropriate action.
This is not the end, friends. It may seem that everything is falling apart, but in many ways things are falling into place. Eventually endings give way to new beginnings. All this craziness is just new life twisting and turning, making its way through the birth canal. A new world is coming.
This wall hanging is currently available for purchase in my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/897923119/colorful-wall-hanging
For those interested, here is the John Reuben song. The second verse in particular is incredibly relatable for me: