Before I dig into the reflection for Day 26 I want to share a couple of things. My Sweetie and I subscribed to BritBox a couple of months ago. This particular show, Mum, we’re watching right now begins with meeting the characters at home preparing to go to the crematory for to say good bye to the husband of the main character, Cathy. The first season covers the first year and the relationships surrounding her: son and girlfriend, brother and girlfriend, in-laws, friends. At some point her husbands best friend reveals he’s loved her since they were young. Cathy’s son picks up on this and begins making pointed comments about his Mum being a widow, and revealing his unease with this. In part because this guy was his dad’s best friend, in part because his mum is a widow, and no, just no. He’s actually rather rude to his dads friend. Last night I kept saying to my Sweetie that I wanted to give this kid what for. In the episode we watched last night Cathy and her son have a very intimate conversation where he describes something really beautiful about manhood, about grief, and about himself. It is that moment where this twenty-something accepts his dad’s death, that life moves on. In one sense this kid (I’m old enough to be his mum) is very much like my dads generation in not revealing his deeper feelings of grief and sadness, all the while revealing how inappropriate it is for his dad’s friend to have feelings for his mum. Cathy is carefully respectful of her child, asking leading questions to get to the depth of his grief, giving him the space to accept his dad’s death as a full-on reality and weep. I just sat there in awe of the conversation and remembering that grief and woundedness are often realized in very different ways in each generation. Sometimes it is rude, rough around the edges, and difficult as evidenced by this kid. I was kind of mad at myself for not realizing this sooner, this serves as a good reminder to watch and look for what’s below the surface, what’s running deeper. And also a reminder that people in every generation struggle with sharing the hurt and pain because we think that’s not what we’re supposed to do.
I am multi-tasking, or better said I’m flitting between an on-line class, doing some writing (two vastly different styles), considering going out for a while to take care of a couple of things, getting ready for the Book Study, and contemplating dinner. I’ve also got an email into Customer Support for my computer, when I plug in a my earbuds for video calls or music I get static, and apparently the parts are on back order scheduled to arrive the second week of March.
While listening to the interview, on Color with my publisher interviewing some of the coolest people in the quilting world, there are Yes! and aha! moments. They are in some ways giving words to my personal experience and helping explain how we, as quilt makers, work with color, looking for color value (light/dark). This affirmed that color relationships are relative, depending upon that they are near for us to understand that relationship. That understanding comes over time. For most of us as quilt makers this relationship grows strong roots in us and we are firmly planted in the value relationship with color. For some of us the relationship with color changes and we begin to use the color in our fabric and thread in a different way, more as a painter where we look for the fabrics to do what we want them to do rather than the fabric telling us what it will do. For some quilters this means dyeing, and still others it means painting the fabric to achieve the look and feel. For me this is choosing the thread color and weight to create the look and feel I’m going for, and often it’s an idea and if the idea takes an unexpected 227 degree turn, who am I to argue with it.
. . . the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ [Jesus] have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit. Let us not be conceited, provoking one another, envious of one another. – Galatians 5: 22-26
These turns, the ones that leave me second, and third, and fourth, and tenth guessing often speak to me years later. Last week as I worked on kind of a multilayered presentation that I want to do I started looking at the quilt to the left, and how this quilt still speaks to me. How making the choice of shape, color placement and stitching led to what I’m doing now. Each stitch we take, each choice we make, each time we step deeper into the unknown of our quilt making our own personality is revealed, our own identity as a quilt maker and artist is better known. This isn’t an easy place to go as often there are other quilters who will harshly criticize sometimes causing deep internal doubt that can halt our movement into the deep.
Therein lies the beauty though, putting out into the deep in quilt making and in faith. Digging in. Drawing deeply from the well of life, the Well of Life. Sometimes it’s great to put out into the deep with other quilters, and other people of faith, to commit to taking a trip together and experiencing quilting and faith together. As many of you do I long for those days where we as quilt makers gather together, share our work, and encourage one another, making suggestions that confirm or give us a firm “oh heck no” in our work. In the faith experience I’m enjoying three things right now, going to Church with some regularity, a faith group that meets once a week via vid chat, and a group that meets once a week for a directed book study. These are all bringing new life into my soul, or perhaps they are revealing the Beauty already there hiding behind, hiding under the surface.
Fabric, thread and sewing machine are the tools used to make quilts that reveal part of that beauty. Studying Scripture and walking in faith with others reveals another part of that beauty. Both are in need of being revealed and both are revealed in the doing of the work. Part of this is a fresh start in a new to us state, home, work, Parish, and part of this is the new opportunities in quilting.
Being caught in time is a beautiful thing, it is an opportunity to grow in the Love of God. The love of God, doing the hard work of being created anew, giving in, giving over to God’s grace reveals that beauty. Sometimes the work of quilt making and the work of faith is hard beyond all imagining. The Beauty though is sublime. Being able to see people, to see the work that goes into the art of quilt making, with all it’s complex learning processes. The Beauty of waking with others of Faith in ways I’ve longed for is like that glorious Sunset my Sweetie stopped for that prompted By the Water.
I don’t know where I’m going at the moment, but the journey is certainly fascinating.