I have been a writer pretty much all my life. Somewhere around the year 2000, I became a quilter and a cauldron stirring creator of bone broth. It was during that time that I first began to think of myself as an artist.
These days, I’ve been painting way more than quilting. (There’s only so much room in my house!) I often notice, though, that my life feels a lot like quilting. I wander around the world collecting scraps of thoughts and dreams and images, much like bits of Gramma’s apron or a scrap from a first day of school dress and, eventually, they come together in a way that teaches me… that connects the puzzle pieces into new perceptions. There’s been a whole lot of that going on this week!
Today is, of course, the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the USA. Writer that I am, I need some words about that. I’m also Hearth Tending in the Red Thread Cafe Classroom today. (That’s Intentional Creativity ® speak for a Facebook group where Wednesdays are Work-in-Progress days and we share what we’re noticing and wondering, and what’s on our easels, with a bit of help from folks like me to hold space for witnessing, celebrating, and offering support.) I need some words for that, too.
I found bits and pieces of those words over the last 24 hours or so.
The first came in the form of a meme posted by a dear Newf Rescue buddy of mine which read, All I want for Christmas is Trump the [bleep] out of office!
I’ll admit, I was tempted to re-post it, which probably isn’t much of a surprise to most of you. Instead, I read on.
A few minutes later, I came across a post from an old friend of mine, The Rev. Jimmie R. Hawkins, on the right, who is the director of the Washington Office for the Presbyterian Church (USA), standing beside The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II who serves as national co-chair of the growing force known as the Poor People’s Campaign.
Suddenly the pieces of a new thought quilt began falling into place as I realized that both of those posts are true for me.
I do want the current occupant of the Oval Office out of there. And, through the lens of the Poor People’s Campaign, I can see that while he’s still there, he is, in fact, serving a purpose.
However unintentionally, in all his seeming efforts to kill the Constitution and healthcare and voting rights and the Statue of Liberty and the very planet we live on, he is holding up a mirror in which we have the chance to see reflections of what we truly value.
(Now, I’m not the first person to have had this thought. Carl Jung and Richard Rohr and Shiloh Sophia McCloud, to name just a few, have been there ahead of me, in one context or another. But somehow the vision became more clear for me when I “quilted” it myself.)
To be fair, the mess that we’re in nationally and globally right now isn’t new and it hasn’t all materialized since the 2016 national election. What does feel different, though, is that the threats to things many of us hold dear are coming so fast and so explicitly that we are, perhaps, becoming more aware of the importance of these days and what comes next.
I pray that it is so. And, if you’ll pardon a bit of redundancy, I’ve begun to suspect that my friend, Jim Morgan, may have read some of the work of an ancient philosopher named Epictetus, who wrote:
First say to yourself what you would be and then do what you have to do.
So, today, I am remembering. I’m making prayer dots for Global Abundance of the sort that makes life better for all beings. I’m supporting some causes and candidates I believe in. I’m hanging with my neighbor while we ponder a new painting on the theme of Reflections for an upcoming middle school PTA art exhibit.
And, in the midst of all of that, I’m reminding myself of the best thing that I learned in my exploration of Qigong:
The energy flows where the attention goes.
Which, while the language is different, is kind of like intending Abundance for all of Creation. It is, admittedly, a bit of a challenge. It’s also the best I’ve got, and I’m totally willing to share!