The other day I had a 90+ minute conversation with an industry professional. It was a good conversation for both of us one of listening, and learning. As we finished the conversation I experienced two things: first a deep sense of joy in the sharing of our experience, and second a flash of a memory of scripture that took me a little while to find again. What brought the memory of the scripture to the fore of my brain was the memory of a t-shirt from an old friend, the scripture from Acts 2 about selling and sharing of property, each one having their needs met.
It occurred to me, while my friend needed to talk, I needed to listen and share information. What I learned in the conversation, what I remembered in the conversation is the joy in sharing. The gift giving involved in quilting from the beginning. I’ve forgotten the economy of sharing that we are the richer for the experience. This required on my part an active listening and being receptive to what I learned but also an active listening to hearing what my friend needed. This is the priceless stuff that makes the quilting community different. The things we learn through sharing.
I long to make enough money to support myself as a quilt maker. I long to be able to pay my mortgage, eat, purchase clothing so that when I go speak and/or teach I look presentable. I long for enough time to make the quilts that will be the ones that people are interested in making. I long for just enough money to purchase fabric, thread, notions and other supplies I need to help keep local quilt shops in business. Whether or not that ever happens I’m satisfied with the economy of my quilting community. The give and take, the shared moments, the exchange of quilting ideas, the blessings of knowing good people – who are sources of encouragement and support. The community.
This moment, along with so many others over the last couple of years, is one of the richest. I think, too, that our economy is built up when we are kind to one another and our words reflect that determination to be kind. I think our economy is “weeded” when we stand up to statements that are mean and undercut other quilters. Our economy is strengthened when we own our words and actions. This is love. This is the economy of true love – a love that seeks and desires the good of the other. (I Cor 13)