It was in July 2015 when I heard about the Ojo de Dios from Amano. Ojo de Dios is a spiritual symbol of the Amarican Indians from Mexico. Called the “Eye of God” its a beautiful colourful pattern made of yarn and wooden sticks with all sorts of variations in design, as part of Mexican folk art. As I write this blog post there is more interesting information that I discovered on the internet about the Ojo de Dios –
The above link also gives a tutorial on how to make one.
Extremely enthusiastic about trying out some craft work, I wandered in the back lanes of Yusuf Sarai market – a chaotic local shopping area cluttered with all types of things, from ayurvedic medicines to cycle parts. Pretending to be walking in the streets of a new town – to acknowledge the novelty of every “now”, I finally landed in a store with colourful yarn that could be used for the craftwork. At home, the drawer of the carved walnut side board was full of wooden chopsticks from Asian Haus – a popular Asian restaurant where my family was regularly ordering food from. These made the perfect wooden sticks for the Ojo de Dios.
Excitedly, I called Taruna and we both decided to get our hands on it. Time and again we procrastinated or made excuses. My favourite excuse in the afternoon being, “Am too sleepy. Let us take a nap and then we will see.” One fine evening – we actually managed to sit with it. Taruna quickly spun her fingers around the sticks and almost magically made a wonderful Ojo de Dios while I sloppily held the four sticks and tried to follow the youtube video we watched. Half way through, I got frustrated, lost my patience and dropped the idea. Holding the feeling that I experienced in the craft classes at school – “I can never work with my hands properly, I am too scattered and clumsy for creating pretty crafts. If its not the best, why should I even try,” and I snapped crankily. This was the end of this little “play project” and the bag was packed away – had even promised Amano a birthday gift of an Ojo de Dios that remains pending till date!
The days of my marriage were approaching. I was making boxes and bags of all that I wanted to take to Kerala. One thing that I couldn’t find was this kit. “You haven’t made it the whole year. Why are you bringing the house down for the Ojo de Dios!” said Mom, as I scrambled aggressively through drawers and shelves, with little success. Later, on one of my trips to Delhi, covered under winter scarves, lay this neglected poor little bag of possibilities that was trying to call out to me for so long.
Arun (my husband) was off for some errands and a bike ride, it was the 21st of November, 2016. I asked him to lock me inside the apartment and go – I wanted nothing at all to disturb me (‘me’ being my own biggest disturbance). The much awaited and neglected part of “little me” was taken out – as the bag of yarn and sticks opened. Without budging, I sat for two hours and made my first Ojo de Dios. All my senses were soaked into the work of craft and every distraction was blotted away with this gentle focussed engagement. Yes, I did have to open and re-do certain parts – but that was okay now. Choosing different colour combinations was really pleasing too. Lovingly, the yarn of tenderness and stillness wrapped me, freeing me into moments of deep meditative action. It all seemed to just “happen”. A gush of joy and confidence went through, “Wow! I can do anything I wish to, if I really wish to!” This one is now hanging on our travel vehicle as you can see here-
“You are sitting in the same position I left you in,” Arun commented on his return. I sat there, beaming with a deep sense of peace and fulfillment, eyes sparking with moisture. Just this simple little activity, showed me the value of Joyful Action Now! It was liberating to get myself to doing something that I had procrastinated with for over a year and plus it actually increased my confidence.
Working with the hands, colours and craft was truly very healing and therapeutic. Making the Ojo de Dios is a new found love. The kit goes many places with me. There have been recent meetings with friends where we have sat together, chatted over coffees and had deep intimate moments of silence while playing with colourful yarn and sticks. The meetings left us crisp and fresh for the remaining day. Children walked up to us curiously and mother’s were happy to take down youtube links. “In the older times women knitted. Its so nice to see you girls work with the hands,” a lady in her middle age, commented. She shared how in todays urban lifestyles, we seem to have lost touch with such calming day to day practices that help us stay rooted and feel the joy within.
We all have the heart of a child that is often intimidated by the mental chatter of the “appropriate adult”. Doing simple little playful activities with friends adds so much spark to the regular meetings that would often keep revolving around similar topics of conversation. When we connect within – we are able to connect more with each other too.
Touching the space of stillness while making the Ojo de Dios is so soothing, often in times when we have lost contact with the little creator inside and are restlessly looking all over for the entity called “mindfulness and peace”. To me, this is the “Eye of God” – bringing us home to the glorious “Now”, watching all unfold, gracefully, from the vast space within our own hearts.
If this is something that interests you, without any delay – get into action, now and discover the joy of it for yourself. Ice cream sticks, wooden skewers (you get long and short ones), regular sturdy sticks or chopsticks would be perfect. Yarn is easily available everywhere (and you can get creative with that too). Increase the number of sticks used, make wild colour combinations, add beads, make knots and patterns you like with the yarn – anything that tickles you. Get creative with the Ojo de Dios. As if now, I am only playing with colours and the basic design. Please, do not bother if its not perfect! It is your fun time.
Would be happy to have more craft and coffee meetings, myself. Do get in touch if you would like to do this with me or in a group, just for joy – email@example.com (if we are in the same city ;))