When the Blaze Becomes Intense, but it’s not what I thought

Over on TerifiCreations I’ve mentioned that I’d love to spend a day writing sensational, click-bait style headlines both for fun and the creative exercise it is. If I actually did this it would over time become part of the lexicon of my brain. I need to plan this day sometime soon for in and of itself any exercise in writing makes me a better writer, which is exercising this God given desire and gift. It is a beautiful thing to exercise the gifts God gives us, it is an act of Love, a love response to God sure, it is also an act of loving oneself.

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been a little rattled in my prayer & reading life. As often happens there’s a backstory to all of this. In my teens I would go to this weekend retreat where the theme song was, Pass it on.

Like so many other expressions of our being, this song expresses God’s action in our lives and our love response.

I’ll be right back, I need to go cut my husbands hair.

Okay I’m back. What I know about fire is incredibly limited but what I do know is this, initially a fire is full of bright, dancing flames, generating warmth & heat, illuminating the area. These flames generate a great deal of heat, and in some sense it goes further than the immediate area. When the fire dies down to the coals it’s super hot but one needs to be a bit closer to experience this warmth. Both need tending to accomplish the necessary function of the fire.

Since just before moving to Texas the fire of my prayer/faith life has blazed between books, read, and the snippets of time through the day. It started with Blessed is She and a few other things and has continued with St. Francis de Sales, St. Teresa of Avila, a bit of Flannery O’Connor, and more. Regular Spiritual Direction and Confession have come as a result of all of this. It’s been so wildly delightful. What’s rattled me in the last couple of months is the intensity of all of this has died down, causing me to begin to think that there is a loss of desire and fervor. And then I remembered that when the initial fire dies down and what you have is this steady glow of a fire that generates enough heat its useful for other things. There is a strong desire to throw a few more logs on to get this blaze going again however there is something to enjoying the pondering of one or three books instead of five, there is deeper thinking, there’s sipping instead of guzzling. There’s the pleasure of one-to-one conversation rather than a group. Yes I know I’m adding a whole lot of other analogies here, they do make sense thought.

Early in my life as a quilt maker I would try anything, at least twice. Once to try it and see if it worked for me, a second or tenth time to see if it’ll work for me long term. When I offer lectures I often say I’m still surprised that I’m a free-motion machine quilter because I was so vehemently against it for so long until that one moment in 1998 or 1999 when I was just done hand quilting. And not for nothing it’s not the speed of quilting or how quickly I can get things done, it’s more what I can do when my eye/hand/foot coordination is all working together with the machine, needle & thread. It is as though, sitting in front of the machine, guiding the quilt underneath the needle I can inhale deeply the fragrance of the new box of 64, complete with sharpener. This is the prayerful incense of creativity.

Just like we need kindling to get a fire going, or water to prime a pump, books and intention to prayer I need fat quarters, batting and a spool of thread, a fresh needle and the intention of quilting to prime my creative pump. Over the last few years there’s been a sense of loss of Focus and so both the reading and the quilting haven’t been what I’ve longed for. As I sat at the machine and stitched and listened to the movie the spark is there. There’s some quilt waiting for me to stitch it out. The spark happened. Now to wait for the fervor, and the next big quilt and by big quilt I mean, oh I don’t know what I mean. I just know that like the path of Faith there is a quilting path and I must follow. There is still so much to explore in both, some old, some new.

While the prayer life seems rattled, it’s just different somehow. While there is a “feeling” of lostness that isn’t the actuality. A few months ago a friend shared this explanation of being root bound and repotting, teasing the roots, gently separating and removing the dead and loose roots. Replanting in a bigger pot allowing the roots the freedom to grow, giving the plant a better foundation for growth. It’s time for new growth.

You want to sing
It’s fresh like spring
You want to pass it on

Happy Stitching & God bless,

Teri

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