While hauling around suitcases this week one of them jammed into my big toe, it’s fine, it’ll be fine. Central Texas got a little rain this week. As a general rule when I go for the mail I step on the berm adjacent to our front door, cross the street and walk to the mailbox. Works every time. On this day I think, “Oh, it’s raining I’ll take the sidewalk, it’ll be safer.” Uh no. There was unnoticed mud. And somehow I landed on my left knee with my right leg extended behind me as though accomplishing either a deep lunge or some kind of ice skating move. I almost wish I had pictures of the landing and getting up because I’m not quite sure how all of that played out.

The scar from roller skating up the sidewalk is evident

You do get to see my skinned knee. Apparently this is the leg to damage this week. Toe. Knee. Whatever.

A few weeks ago in Spiritual Direction I shared that when I get stressed out I pull into myself and then have a difficult time doing the creative work that lives inside my head and heart. I was experiencing a deep sense of loneliness long before the onset of the pandemic and the world shutting down. This only deepened through the first seven weeks while my Sweetie and I were separated by over 1500 miles and many states. For a period of time I experienced deep shame that I couldn’t promote my book in all the the ways I’d imagined. Add to that two moves, living in a hotel for months, setting up a new home. The ideas were there but the ability to do the work just. wasn’t. there. Friends, this was pain-full! The loneliness was painful, the two moves were stressful and hard and then there’s some other personal stuff going on behind the scenes. This stuff happens.

I mention the shame here as it is important for me to know that there is nothing particularly to be ashamed of. Feeling it wasn’t a problem. Acknowledging it isn’t a problem. Knowing that shame demands that we isolate so that we can dwell with it and in it is a good thing so that the feeling is acknowledged and I can move forward. And own the fact that I couldn’t do anything differently.

I move in and work in a creative community of quilters and makers and artists for whom fiber is their medium of choice. While talking to friends at our first trade show since 2019 many of us who make and create as part of our work weren’t able to create and in some ways are still kind of stuck. The isolation was hard on everyone, and some of us as creatives experienced it deeply, in ways we were not able to fully articulate. While in some ways this lack of creativity is obvious I haven’t had the will or words to be vulnerable with you expressing what was going on inside my head and heart. I needed something to shake this loose. And oddly enough teaching wasn’t it as I’ve been teaching locally since we’ve been able to have classes,. Can I just tell you how frustrating it was not to experience a creative fill me up when teaching? That was awful.

While at our trade show something shifted. My creative wine glass filled as I talked with people who experienced the same thing, and who weren’t able to have this discussion out loud. Making connections and being with my community. I have thoughts about this and a desire to make something happen.

In an odd way I was also called out on something this week that is all wrapped up in a seemingly unrelated discussion with some friends. It’s painful to be called out, however it was a good thing because it permitted me to see a place in my life and heart where growth, mmm root combing is needed. The seemingly unrelated discussion is good to as it’s allowing me to own my own behavior and apologize for it. In quilterly terms I’m taking out some really bad stitching.

49 pieces of chocolat still teaches me new things

As quilt makers we all begin somewhere and have a journey to where we are now. If all goes well a couple of things happen

Our work improves.

And we find who we are as quilters.

I’ve shared often how surprised I am that machine quilting, specifically free-motion is where I’ve landed in the quilting world. I’m good at piecing, but machine quilting has my heart. While offering a lecture on Quilt Motifs and Color this week I shared a bit of “how I would quilt this now.” I have no regrets about my quilting journey it’s been a hard slog and I’ve learned a lot which I pass onto you. In more than one conversation this week the phrases “you don’t know what you don’t know” and “sometimes the only way to know if a job is right for you is to do it and find out” have come up in conversation. Both of these apply to machine quilting in some way. Learning machine quilting is a process of trying things over and over again until we become better at them. And sometimes we find out that we are actually heading down a different path.

While rereading Oasis before posting I got to thinking about the desert place while it feels painful and bleak and lonely and vulnerable it is a place of restoration. In that desert place there is a strong desire to throw it all away and run, and yet, there is a deep need to stay and see where this is going. After all of this do I know where I’m going? No. However there is a quilt calling me that I can hardly wait to get stitching on.

Back to the Oasis part of this. Most of us as creatives work solo, on our own. The loneliness of both being on the road as a sales rep, the earliest stages of the isolation, and some other life experiences this deep sense of loneliness and isolation continued, though I’ve traveled and been with other quilters on/off over the last year. Doing my own work has been so hard. Quilt Market was this restorative Oasis for me. It is a place of home. A place of rest and of possibilities within the community of quilters who are also professionals. We needed to gather, to renew relationships, to share in the day to day and to be reminded of how we can collaborate with one another.

As this gray, much needed rainy day continues I am grateful for all of this. Friends please keep praying for several special intentions.

Coming soon, a post on intimacy. This will have a lot to do with prayer and my relationship with God.

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