Years ago I learned an old Yiddish proverb: “We plan. God laughs.” A bit of early morning rooting around on the internet suggests that, somewhere along the way, Woody Allen learned it, too.
This week has kind of been one of those weeks.
You see, I made a plan.
In the midst of the painting and the dog grooming and some fascinating conversations about getting my art out into the world, I’ve also, as you may remember, been making a liturgical stole for a seminary alumna being honored with an award for “Pioneering in Ministry.”
The timing was, shall we say, a bit short. But, I had a plan.
I started by choosing a quilt block I’m familiar with. Not too fussy. More fun, really, in its almost folk-art style. Deep, jewel tone colors. What I refer to as Liberated Wild Geese blocks, which means we’re not too worried about precise measurements and identical triangles. In fact, as wild geese are symbols, in some Celtic traditions, for the Holy Spirit, I think Liberated is just how they should be.
God probably started giggling about the time the fancy computerized sewing machine quit when I was just starting to sew.
The new one works great, in a very minimalist sort of sense, which may be what I needed, though I lost about 18 hours while Amazon did their thing.
Then, yesterday, the printer blew a gasket.
My Gramma Elsie, who was a quilter, did not have a printer. She didn’t know that you could print text onto fabric and add it to a quilt.
These days, you can, and it’s really cool, but it pretty much depends on a printer that works.
I had already tried new ink, which didn’t work, even after I waited yet another day for it to arrive. Everything was striped. I like stripes but I want them where I want them and this wasn’t it.
I suspect God had reached full on chuckling by this point.
Bless the Legendary husband who fetched a new printer and figured out the magic involved in actually getting it to print.
The fabric is still drying, but the colors are great and I think we’re going to be good to go.
Then, very, very early this morning (read that last night) I had made enough progress on assembling everything to come to the conclusion that my design had wandered past liberated and into the realm of chaotic. Considerable seam ripping was involved.
Not to worry, though. I have a plan! At least this time, God and I are both laughing!
Am ready to start the re-assembly part which, fortunately, really isn’t hard. It just took a bit of listening to the truth my eyes were telling me. And, I still have about 48 hours, though that includes air drying time and it’s supposed to be cloudy and damp. (Not really so funny!)
And I have to cross my fingers and hope with all my heart that a woman I’ve never met will relate to what I’ve made.
The colors. The symbolism. Even a bit of red thread.
It’s kind of scary. And, yet, it’s also my whole heart. And the work of my hands. I’m hopeful.
A bit of trimming. Some more piecing. Or, rather, re-piecing. Quilting and binding. (Still!) Lots of dots, already included. Prayers for transformation.
Am clutching my magic wands and praying that the rest of the machines hang in there. This is not the time for more mechanical breakdowns.
Sadly, we don’t often get to pick the time.
We do get to show up. To take up the challenge, even when it’s a pretty big challenge.
We do get to pick the time to hug the folks doing big work. And to open ourselves to what comes next.
I can’t wait to find out!
God, I suspect, will be chuckling then, too.