I have a half-remembered quote from the psychologist Carl Rogers (I think) floating around in my head, and it goes something like, “when I resolve some issue in my life, it’s like a call goes out to my clients that they can now bring that issue into their therapy sessions with me.”
There is more than one way to take this statement, but the one I’m focusing on is that when you are preoccupied by an issue, you start seeing it reflected in everything around you.
I’ve been thinking a lot about getting stuck and unstuck these days, and everywhere I look I see messages having to do with not getting in your own way and getting beyond fear and trusting yourself and overcoming perfectionism and OMG JUST DO IT ALREADY.
Sometimes done is better than perfect.
Her favorite moments were those when she let go of all expectations and worries and just simply celebrated the very moment she was living.
She was learning to silence the noise, and reawaken to her own bright bloom.
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice – – –
though the whole house
began to tremble
(I thought I saw the Mary Oliver poem first on My OBT
, but I can’t find it there now. A big thank you to whoever posted that where I could see it. ETA: it was here.
I tend to get stuck easily. It’s the twin demons of depression and anxiety working together; the voice of anxiety screams at me all the things that could go wrong and that people will hate what I do and judge me and laugh at me, while depression whispers that it won’t work anyway and it would take too much effort so why try at all?
The trick–and I am just at the beginning of learning how to do this–is to hear your own very quiet inner voice and be guided by that despite what the other voices tell you. And to be able to tell which is which.
This quilt was something of a victory in this process, because I could see it in my head, I was certain it would work out, and I was able to push through and do it (without too much stuck-ness) despite the screaming in my head.
This is a very non-traditional baby quilt for my very cool and non-traditional niece, her fiance, and their new baby boy. She and I are not close, but I wanted to do this for her, because I do think she is a wonderful, interesting person.
The pattern is here,
and I do recommend it if you need to get a quilt out in a hurry. Made with charm squares, this would be incredibly fast; even cutting my own squares (and taking dinner, evening walk, and other breaks), I got the top done in a Friday afternoon/evening.
I started with the striped backing fabric, then chose the others from the stash to coordinate with it. The only uncut fabric was the backing, and all the rest were scraps; several are from SCRAP Tri-Cities, including the Laurel Burch quilt label and batting.
(And can I just mention how nauseating it is when you look online at any discussion of craft projects for babies and THEY ARE ALL TOTALLY FREAKING OBSESSED WITH THE SEX OF THE BABY. Endless angst about “how can I make something for the baby when I don’t know the sex,” and “I really want to make this thing but it’s for girls/boys and the baby is a boy/girl,” and “we couldn’t paint the nursery/buy bedding/make a baby quilt because we didn’t know the sex of the baby,” and on and on and on. Seriously, people? And just why is it so VERY CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT that everything that the baby comes in contact with broadcast its sex?)
Because I was nervous about the quilting, I just drew a big heart in the center and sewed that first in bright blue thread to see how it looked; I liked it so I did a few more concentric hearts, then upside-down hearts on each side of the main one in the middle.
I was trying for sort of an informal, folk art sort of look to the quilting, and I think I got that.
There wasn’t much room on the label, so I just kept it simple. I did needle-turn applique on it, but it looked too plain, so I added some blue blanket stitch around the edge, too.
I’m very happy with this project, and I hope my niece will like it, too.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations – – –
though their melancholy
was terrible. It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do – – – determined to save
the only life you could save.