What is the cost of these flowers?

What is the cost of these flowers?

And what the cost of this scarf? What is the cost of these colors? And what is the cost of my work?

“Sam, you are a magician. I know you listen with your inner ears and see with your inner eyes and the result is unlike any other artistic creation.” 

These are the words of the incomparable Janet Conner about the prayer stole I wove for her. And it makes me wonder, what is the cost of that listening?


When I married my first husband, I moved into the house he had bought and decorated. His color choices were….well, let’s say quite different from mine! The house boasted various shades of khaki, muted tones, beige. And I was, and am, a very colorful person.

Desperate to colorify that house, but not granted permission to do any painting of walls, I bought, for the khaki sofa, a red pillow. It was a big pop of color in a very staid room.

That red pillow was so significant he once told the story of it during a couples therapy session as a way of describing how different we were and what I’d brought to his life.

When we moved to Hadley, we bought a house that was a little orgy of beige. I was granted permission to paint a room. But absolutely, under no circumstances, could I have an accent wall. He did not “believe in accent walls!”

When I first divorced and lived in a little rental house, I could not paint anything, but I bought fabric and made wonderful, colorful curtains for each room.

A year later, when I bought my own home, it was time to bring the color. All the color of my heart and soul. All the color I had not been able to use. Tommy helped me paint the kitchen blue and the mudroom yellow and give the living room an orange accent wall and the stairway a light lavender and the upstairs bathroom got silvery gray and the downstairs deepest sea blue and the front door was made purple on the inside, lilac on the outside.

It was so joyful and wonderful and freeing and true.


There was a lot of loss, grief, hardship, pain, strength, and desperation that paved the way for those colors.

Weaving, as I do now, with so much passion for and attention to and love of, color, attending to its subtleties and energy, its communication and flavor, its generosity and kindness, I think of how, for many years, I did not live in full color. And my full color was not loved and adored–and I don’t just mean that my ex-husband didn’t like my colorfulness. (He didn’t. Probably some part of him also did. People are complicated.) I mean, in the effort to accommodate my marriage, I beiged out.

You know that expression, “the color drained out of his face?”

Well, that was a little bit my life for awhile.

And the cost to change that, the cost of being a colorful person living her life in full color was very high. It was in no way easy, my divorce and subsequent readjustment and new beginnings. I certainly did not leave simply to paint my house in colors I liked. There were much more serious reasons. But this, this life in color, was a serious side effect. I could not even have known to articulate it back then. When you are in a black and white movie, you have no idea what color is.

When I sit in the studio amidst the fabric scraps and cones of various color and blend the fabrics and strips of ribbon and yarn to see what kind of magic emerges, that me–that me of me, that original me, that little girl who always dressed in every kind of color, that teenager who painted all her walls purple and green, that twenty year old who wore wild colorful overalls–oh, she is delighted. She is herself. She is home.

The cost of a life without color was much higher. It was the cost of a life without self–without myself.

Don’t you want to live in full color? I mean, even if you prefer tan and khaki and beige, don’t you want to live the fullest color version of your life?

Like that old way, when television went from black and white to technicolor and what an amazing thing that was, we too can put on the colors that bring us more fully into the originality and beauty of our own selves, of our own lives.

Being called a magician by Janet Conner filled my bucket, of course. And it’s exactly what I would hope for in a review of one of my weavings, but the truth is that I am not in any way the magician; I am a witness of the magic. And the magic IS in that deep listening to Spirit and heart that guides us ever in the right direction, towards our full color life.

From the red pillow to the orange wall, I am still listening.

Yellow buds in orange vase and blues forever. Fire altar cloths and purple ponchos, tapestries of rainbow and sunsets of patchwork scraps, I am listening. The cost of listening may not be free, but it leads to freedom. Freedom to be what we have been called to be and created to be. Ourselves in full color.



  1. Bonnie Walker on April 18, 2024 at 10:47 am

    Loved it! I would have bought 2 red pillows😊

    • Samantha Wilde on April 18, 2024 at 6:55 pm

      Yes! Perfect!

Leave a Comment