Sometimes I have moments where I imagine either giving quilt lectures, or faith talks. Quilts and faith are interrealted as evidenced by what I share here on this blog. I can, almost without hestiation share my quilting journey paying particular attention to the moments of growth, where in my faith life this isn’t always so clear. I will admit to being frustrated by this, as though I don’t think enough. As I write though there are three memories pushing to the surface that I’ll share within the context of sharing what this weeks means.
On Saturday evening at the Easter Vigil where we begin celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus, representing in great detail salvation history, I celebrate 29 years of Full Communion in the Church. There’s been some hard core struggle over these years, and a time when, had I not taken in Jesus words in John 6 as literal truth, I would have walked away from the Church. Yep, there was some serious hurt.
At 8 or 9 I got it in my head that I would go to Sunday Mass on my own at some particular Mass on Sunday. So I did, on my own. Walking a good couple of miles by myself. That may have been my actual, accidental, First Communion. Uh yeah. I did that. Somewhere around the same time I remember being taught to pray, those prayers are with me now and are my go-to’s. I don’t remember how often I went to Sunday Mass by myself, or even if I ever did it again however that moment of receiving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament has stayed with me. When I received my official First Holy Communion 29 years ago there is that same sense of Holy. It was this very Jesus fully present in the Blessed Sacrament that led to my return to the Church. The question that has stayed with me through all of this is when sharing that I’d be becoming Catholic the Pastor said, “You’re not becoming Catholic because of him, are you?” The him meaning my Sweetie who I was dating at the time, not only was this a fair question but one with deep meaning, that underlies my staying, I didn’t leave because of him (NOT MY SWEETIE) either.
At times life has been a Living Lent in that not only was it hard, it meant the death of ideas, and goals and dreams. Places we thought we’d be even now. This last year or so has exemplified this death to where we thought we’d be. During Holy Week last year my Sweetie flew back to NY to finish packing up, and finish emptying out the house. It was a really difficult few days. We ordered pizza on Easter Sunday afternoon because that’s all that was open. We were definitely grateful for that. The next morning we would begin our drive to Texas.
So recently the reflections have focused on the quilting, looking back and seeing how color and free-motion quiltng have become so deeply part of who I am as a quilter. Each quilter brings something beautiful to the quilting world. What I do for myself, is not what I do as a teacher. It’s not supposed to be, and neither is the walk of Faith. One of the coolest things I did as a quilt shop employee was on-the-fly color classes that I’d love to replicate. With each customer it was different as each quilter would speak about the color that speaks deepest to them. One quilter and I worked together on/off one afternoon as she chose and we talked about the fabrics for her quilt. While what she was bringing to me worked in and of itself, it wasn’t quite right for her. Some further conversation revealed that she didn’t like the colors in front of us. A few more questions and a little more time (on another day) she found the blacks and purples she wanted, that made her deeply happy giving her all she needed not only to piece the quilt top, but finish the quilt.
In the internal monologue there’s been an I’m a storyteller/I tell stories with my quilts theme. With each quilt there is a story that reflects some kind of milestone in the quilt life. When I sit to write there is this whole upright posture, good pen in hand, serious here’s the big point kind of thinking. When I let go though and simply write the story is better told. The invitation is there then to sit with me, see we’re kindreds, our stories, our lives are intertwined, although we just met we have some commonality that allows us to be in relationship with one another. And if the last months have confirmed anything for me it is these two things it’s all relational and if a book is good I like to savor it, reading it slowly allowing it, and the writer to keep company while we explore the depth of the work. Some quilts speak to me in the same way, some people speak to me in that way – ever complex, ever new and ever vulnerable enough to plumb those depths, to explore what will happen if/when with. Just like exploring color, and understanding that while I know some, I know very little, there’s always more and while it’s at once overwhelming it is also inherently beautiful.
Always remember you are a gift worthy of being opened, and treasured.