I have not posted for ten days because I am submerged in a swirl of family activities, events, emotions and dynamics where I have previously had a glass of wine permanently glued to my hand. I am instead taking this period of time to sit and observe myself and my interactions with those around me without a drop to drink. (Yikes!)
Sitting in total soberness in the midst of this family visit – and my life in general, I see how my life can feel crazy, reactive, chaotic, stuffing-down-feelings, family-stystems-run-rampant. And I see why I liked to numb it with wine previously.
An image has come to me of my life to date. A life I’m grateful for. One so full – so very full. Full of joy, sorrow, ups, downs, passions, bad choices, good choices – zigs and zags.
It is an image of a quilt.
I love quilts, and have made a number of quilts in my younger days. I love how they are created from found materials, and made with love and attentiveness.
My maternal grandmother passed on a special one to my mother – and now to me – known as a Crazy Quilt. It’s from the Victorian era.. and was all the rage at the time. (It’s featured in the banner above)
It hits me – my life is a Crazy Quilt. A unique, beautiful one-of-a kind Crazy Quilt.
What is a Crazy Quilt?
One of the most popular exhibits at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition was the Japanese pavilion showcasing the ‘crazed’ ceramics and asymmetrical art so popular in Japan.
American women began basing ‘crazy quilts’ on these abstract arrangements. Crazy Quilts were carefully designed to showcase fabrics and needlework skills. Although each creation appeared haphazard, much planning went into what shapes fit where, and what stitching to use to pull them together.
Why is my life like a Crazy Quilt?
I am the sum total of my life – ALL of it. Even the bits I’d rather forget. My Crazy Quilt life has been made by me, and full of abstracts, carefully chosen and placed fabrics, unique stitches, interesting patterns, lovely colors – and like no other quilt.
Up close I can see each stitch, each fabric choice – and the placement of each scrap of fabric. I see the blood, sweat and tears on those scraps – and see the mistakes in the stitching. But from a distance all I can see a beautiful, cohesive inviting story of my life. All of it. The pain, the growth – everything. This Crazy Quilt is something I worked hard on – and am learning to appreciate up close and from a distance.
Let me take this opportunity to introduce you to the most wonderful of artists from South Africa that I worked with – Johnny Clegg. The baby on his shoulders is Jesse, who is now a young man and tours around the world with Johnny.
“It’s a cruel crazy beautiful world
Every time you wake up I hope it’s under a blue sky
It’s a cruel crazy beautiful world
One day when you wake up I will have to say goodbye
Goodbye — It’s your world so live in it!”