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small mercies

It’s been pretty damp out here lately. It’s easy to let your spirits fall flat and feel dreary. Even the computer sends out small, slightly ominous messages of warning, in the right-hand corner of the screen.

Yet I take heart in Emerson’s words this morning: “I am thankful for small mercies.” The beauty of green lush scenery and the ever-changing skies, the humorous way my computer seems to be speaking, commiserating about the weather… it’s all so endearing, so regular, so northwestern. It’s life happening right before our eyes. The passage which follows in Emerson rings strangely familiar too, to readers of Michael Singer and other contemporary writers on consciousness:

“The new molecular philosophy shows astronomical interspaces betwixt atom and atom, shows that the world is all outside; it has no inside.”

Emerson also reminds us, like Singer in Living Untethered (just got my copy and loving it!) that:

“Life’s chief good is for well-mixed people who can enjoy what they find, without question. .. To fill the hour–that is happiness; to fill the hour and leave no crevice for a repentance or an approval. We live amid surfaces, and the true art of life is to skate well on them.”

“Life is a tempest of fancies, and the only ballast I know is a respect to the present hour. … we should not postpone and refer and wish, but do broad justice where we are.”

— from Emerson, “Experience” in Selected Writings, pp. 350-352.

And then there’s “All Star Seattle Quilt” No. 1, finished yesterday! It was fun to stitch in some of my favorite natural scenes and landmarks from this city I love so much… and to blend them with fabrics from the many cultures which make this such a quirky, lively place to be: African block prints, Vietnamese tigers, Japanese cranes in flight, Mexican flowers in bloom–we have so much to be grateful for, in this outpost on the far western side of the country.

Hint: those T-shirts and the tiny pin represent local landmarks which will be featured in “All Star Seattle Quilts” Nos. 2 and 3, coming for summer!

And now, about that weather…

creativity death design friendship quilts

Baby shower count-down, day three

It is now Monday night, and the baby shower is Saturday afternoon… will it get done in time? How will I do all that time-consuming hand-finishing, given my obligations to the Parks Department (Seattle Urban Nature Guide training starts this week), family visits, and a concert Friday night! (Should I cancel and stay home and work instead?) Such were my worries last night.

But after Qigong class this morning, I could only smile. It will be what it will be.  And in the meantime, each and every visit, obligation, and opportunity for joy (to listen to music, to see loved ones, or to visit the forest, for instance) will be fully embraced. It is fun to work hard and be creative, but one must not let the ambition for a big achievement  drag you into exhaustion. I know, because I used to do that all the time!

So I’m stopping for today. (Well, it is after midnight, but only a little.)

What you see in the photos here is the whole concept of the quilt at last.  It is a bright and cheerful riot of pattern and color from around the world, anchored in Seattle. It will serve to buoy up the little person who’s to arrive in this sea of humanity. If you look closely at the bottom right (the “end” of the story), Paddington Bear’s there, as always, to lead the little one on her way to the future…

Enjoy my favorite square too! She seems to be on the threshold, standing in a doorway; maybe it’s a portal to another world–notice the skulls on either side, in the bright red-on-pink Mexican design? It’s a story in the story: an homage to the dead in a gift to a  newborn.