Part 5:

Welcome to the part of the sampler with symbols that surround us and speak to us...

I had some trouble communicating my thoughts and feelings in this section.  Why?  Maybe because being such a romantic at heart, I've always given music an important place in my life and been intrigued by how it can deliver us, tell us a story and let us dream.

This section explains the "what and why" of the things that surround us, and the ideas that we convey unconsciously.  It's a key part of our character, the imprint that distinguishes us from each other but links us at the same time.

I purposefully gave pride of place to music in section five, having been soothed by it and having learned to play musical instruments when I was younger.  Music brings something extraordinary to my life, and makes me feel pretty amazing things.

I owe this to the fact that I was able to understand and fill my mind with melodies that correspond to who I really am.

The music staff in the lower left corner represents music in general, all types of music.  It's a universal symbol.

The keyboard just next to it represents the piano, an instrument I studied for five years.  A flute is depicted just above that -- it symbolizes my music theory classes at the conservatory.

I'd like to spend a bit more time on these two symbols, the keyboard and the flute.  I don't know if it's because this period was part of my adolescence, but when playing music -- the sometimes hesitant and sometimes more assured contact with the keys, as my fingers danced on the keyboard -- I felt such a sense of connection that I sometimes cried after realizing what the music was trying to tell me.

After reaching such an emotional state, trying to decipher the music and reading the notes (music theory) seemed like impossible codebreaking to me.   It was a rather long time before I managed to read and play a score at the same time.  (Apologies to my neighbors from that time, who had to suffer through all the scales, wrong notes and endless repetitions of certain sections)  :)

I realized that as an adolescent, my choice to learn to play the piano was in fact a willingness to try to express the emotions and thoughts that I could not put into words.

As learning music is difficult, I cried more than a few tears over my keyboard, especially when confronted by my stern piano teacher, who did not understand that I was there for pleasure and not to make piano playing my life's work!  This being said, I persevered, with one thought in mind: imbuing my playing with emotion and sense.

I found this musical sense, but only after countless hours of class, as I had to first learn how to master the movement of my fingers.  I discovered then that I had some coordination problems.

That's why the G clef represents perseverance and willingness to learn.  It is the fruit of our labors and our investments in ourselves.  It is there to remind us: "When we want to do something, we can!"

We can link the G clef to courage as the key to success in a personal challenge, without ever being boastful.

It is also associated with our right hands, as the G clef notes are often played on the piano with the right hand.

The F clef in the lower right corner next to the little pyramid represents the hardships that we have yet to overcome.  Life is not always sung in G clef ... but the F clef should not be seen as a negative symbol.  It precedes the G clef and is part of the future that we've yet to live.  It is also associated with our left hands.

The "bemol" (flat) has a dual meaning.  In music, it had a strong link to romantic sounds.  If I had to compare myself with two musical notes, I would be a B flat and an E flat.

It also represents drawbacks in life... it's something that is not going well, or that lands on our heads when we didn't expect it!  I put the bemol in this musical section --  on the one hand because for me it represents romanticism above all other things (B flat and E flat that I am), and on the other hand because the idea of drawbacks in life made sense during this part of my life.

For the musicians stitching the Marquoir Story, sew the F and G clefs in gold metallic thread if music or something closely related to it is your job or your passion.

For the non-musicians in the group, this section is your ballroom (or party room for the youngest in the crowd).  Don't crank up the sound too high, we don't want to bother the neighbors!  :)

For those of you who want to switch this section around, I would ask you to keep the F and G clefs, wihch are symbols of courage and internal strength.

The house shown in this section represents our childhood homes.   The roof is separated from the base on purpose.  This represents the transition from childhood to adolescence, the period when our feelings grow more mature, and also when we definitively cut the umbilical cord.

The cherry trees and branches simply represent nature, which surrounds us.

The stars, if I can make reference to Anne Pelletier Pauleau's book*, symbolize perfection when they have five points.  It's rather strange, because each time I look up at the sky, especially the stars or the moon, it's a moment of personal solitude, a need to take refuge in an imaginary world.

For a long time, I believed that the stars were spirits that had left our bodies, with the brightest stars being the spirits that were closest to us.  A beautiful way to think that we go on forever and watch over those that we love when we are no longer here on Earth.

I still believe that, and I still often gaze at the stars with bright eyes.

The quill is the defining symbol of writers.  Without being pretentious, I incorporated the quill in this section in tribute to my "poetry" period, which truly helped me to express my deepest emotions.  The ink that is spilling out represents what we've already written (for me, it's a really sad poem that was published in the local newspaper -- I was 14 years old...).

Ok, let's listen to some music... and stitch this part 5!!...

* Book  by Anne Pelletier Pauleau: "Symbols and Cross-Stitch", or the art of creating a sampler. Edition La bibliotheque des Metiers

Textes et illustrations ©Isabelle Vautier
Thank you very much to Susan Stumme for the translation in English of the pages of the Marquoir Story.