Last Sunday was a beautiful morning with lots of sun and brilliant clear blue skies. The air was so crisp it made my nostrils tingle as I walked outside and there was fresh snow on the nearby mountains, and a wind chill. So my dragon boat team did not go paddling.
Instead, I got out some material I had left over from quilt making and started to cut them into 6 inch squares to make another quilt. I don’t make anything fancy; I cut out six inch squares then sew them together to make a rag quilt.
The rotary cutter I use started to get dull so I got out my sewing box and changed the blade. Now that in itself is no big deal. What is the big deal is the fact that I remembered I had spare blades in my sewing box.
This time last year I had gone and bought new blades, twice, because I needed new blades and I forgot I had just bought some two days before.
So there is progress and I felt pretty good for remembering I had them, and where I could find them. I continued to cut out some squares and sort them.
I then went to the box where I store my material to get some material I knew I had there, and low and behold there was material I had totally forgotten about. Now this is not stuff that has been sitting there for ten years. Its stuff I bought six months ago.
So as you can see my memory is not fully intact. Will it ever be? I doubt it. But I have learned not to beat myself up for it, - (for the most part) - and savour the moments I do remember and have some linear memory.
My quilting material comes from many sources. Some I buy new, some I get at thrift stores as material or articles of clothing I cut up and use and sometimes friends have given me some. Most of the material I was cutting up I have used in other quilts and these are the remnants, left overs.
As I was cutting these up I was thinking, in my own unique way, that these left overs are much like me. I have many “remnants” of life that make up who I am, everyone does. The only difference with me is that mine are not all sewn together or connected.
Some of the material is from old used clothing; it has been around for a long time and is broken in, faded and soft. Others are brand new, somewhat rigid and have brilliant and bright colours. Some pieces are smooth cottons, some fluffy fleece and some warm comfortable flannel. Some colours and patterns work together, some don’t. And like my quilt making, I am putting myself together piece by piece.( I was going to write that I am putting myself back together piece by piece, but I don’t think I was ever wholly together, or if I was it was not for very long.) Some fit nicely; others need more work and encouragement.
And as in quilt making, each time I put a piece together, it stays and is support for the next piece. Soon I have strips of six inch squares, then rows, then I sew the rows together and soon I have a lovely multi coloured, multi tactile quilt. I am then able to lay the quilt out and see it as a whole.
As I put the pieces of me together I can start to see the whole. I no longer need to wait for the “writer” to come out before I write. I no longer need to wait for the “reader” to come out before I can read etc. For the most part I am now able to pull on these wonderful resources I have and use them when needed, no longer needing to dissociate to be able to do these tasks.
I am becoming more whole as a person and able to bend with the challenges of life, instead of being a stiff card that gets pulled out of the filing system only after I dissociate.
Like the quilt, I will get worn down in places and need some repairs over time. That’s ok; I have supports in place that can help me during those times. Like the six inch squares of material, by themselves they are not much, but put them together and they are a wonderful functional object.
How does the saying go, “The whole is better than the sum of the parts”
That goes for my quilts and myself!
Until next time,
Cheers and be well