#24 Unlearn

future memories, same tortoise new shell, night cat

Hi there, you’re receiving this because you’ve subscribed to letters from marn, a weekly email like one I’d send to a friend, on nonsense and epiphanies, and always a bit of my textile art process. You may see my work on the noisybeak website, or instagram @noisybeak

Lately, I’ve been making cat after cat. I hold each one in a light grip, tilt its head, then, tilt my head, asking and answering.

Each time I start with a new cat, I think, I’ve done this so many times, I can make one with my eyes closed.

How wrong. I know so much about them already, if I focussed on speed, I’d succumb to putting them in boxes of stereotypes.

I’ve to dig deeper, beyond the fur pattern and the usual grump that I see, to let each cat be a unique individual that they are.

A running stitch, a french knot, or even stuffing, with enough practise, may be done in half the time. But a beakie is alive. A stitch, a knot and the insides are all in relation to the whole, affecting the personality.

I deliberately unlearn my practice. I invest with time, and in time. And time returns the favour many folds in the form of these fabric creatures, friends, mirrors, nemesis, mentors, future memories…

Beakie in progress

Having said that, I trudged through the week by focusing on what’s immediately in front of me. I found a small window at night, and started with this.

She is night. She sees what you don’t in the day. She’ll be up for adoption later this week.

Victoria is a collector. she brought home to her shell, so many things, it grew and grew beyond what she could bear. I finally convinced her that shedding is not loss but gaining of new opportunity. She now has a newer, lighter shell. And off she goes to collect again.

For adoption

Rhonda, Reuben and Murphy are looking for new homes. They are waiting in the online shop.

Pierce, Gilda, Blanket & Astrid are looking for new homes too.

See a match? Adopt in the shop.


When I first sat down with my earphones, Fiona Apple’s new Fetch the Bolt Cutters sounded like noise. Last night, after a long day, after dinner, too tired to even sleep, I slumped on the sofa with the album again. forget my earlier opinion. The combination of her music and the long night, brings me back to different stages in the past. Stupidity, inaction, hesitation… but in the ending every track, she comes out on the other side, like I have.


Mixed urid and chana dal. I’ve cooked these two separately, and refer to them as the one that emits fish, and chicken aroma respectively. Urid tend to be thick creamy, bordering slimy, while chana coarse and crumbly. Mixing the two achieves a smooth stew with a bite, and flavours keeps revealing bite after bite.

Every new-to-me lentil combination reminds me that one only has to look with fresh eyes to reveal what’s been here all along.

Sitting by blown out candles, hearing frogs in a distance and wondering what poem they’re reciting. marn.

To do what I do, making beakies, write stories, and even this letter, I need to be able to feed myself. I need your support. Please help by sharing my work, this letter, adopt a beakie, and click the heart. Thank you.