(In memory of a dear friend’s passing and time’s fleeting path. Sorry to see you leave so soon, Matt VE…)
Hello fine people,
Since we’ve all survived thus far, I’d like to invite you to join me in person on June 10, from 5-8 pm, at the “Dreaming in Quilts” show currently on display at West Seattle Grounds coffee shop, in Seattle. It is the June ArtWalk evening; you could make this one stop on a lovely evening promenade around scenic West Seattle. If you come, I promise to welcome you with a smile, answer any questions that may arise about my creations, and enjoy watching people play “Make a Quilt.” At 8pm, Joanie (the wonderful manager of this event) will draw someone’s paper out of the box, and announce who won the “WIN YOUR QUILT!” drawing, for a free quilt of their own design!
There are eight quilts on display: three “Respect” quilts in honor of #BLM and inspired by fascinating Black people I know; one each of the Frankenstein and Alice in Wonderland quilts, two one-of-a-kind Japanese Kimono Silk quilts*, and a subdued, blue/grey/green watery-looking quilt inspired by Seattle called “Western Pacific.”
They are perfectly imperfect, each in its own way (being a firm believer in Haruki Murakami’s adage, “a certain type of perfection can only be realized through the limitless accumulation of the imperfect”).
*The Japanese Kimono Silk quilts were made with tiny bits of silk from a long-lost catalogue for kimono makers, placed in a pretty rice cake tin that was found at Hosekibako, a Japanese resale shop. I miss browsing around that elegant store and finding such treasures, but I am happy to see they now sell online!
The Make a Quilt game is free, simple, and accessible to all, the youngest and oldest among us too (no pins, needles, or scissors involved). Participants will find a long table marked with blue tape outlining a 5×3 grid and a pile of 10” sewn quilt squares in various textures and colors and patterns. People will choose 15 squares, lay them out in their own designs, straighten ’em up, take a photo; voilà an e-quilt! With that, they can now join the drawing for a real quilt on the same design: “WIN YOUR QUILT!” (The winner will receive the very quilt they’ve designed, in 6-8 weeks.)
A creative, fun time guaranteed. Particularly recommended for people re-entering the world after a long moment of isolation and possible sadness, whose eyes look downwards and moments of joy seem few. In other words, all of us. Kids too.
If coming to West Seattle is too much of a challenge, not to worry. HGBG quilts are currently on sale via the Honey Girl Books & Gifts etsy site at a fabulous 50% discount (use code LUVWSEA) until June 30, 2021. And if you’d like to host a future “Dreaming in Quilts” show in your neighborhood, why not write to me? (use the contact page on this blog). Who knows what we might do, to spread loving kindness around this sad old world.
Thank you, for all that you do to support the Black Lives Matter movement, appreciation of Asian-Americans, and the rich contributions all make to American culture. Let us usher in trust as the post-pandemic concept of choice, right now, right where we live.
“… think of the virtues of those who live with you,” counsels Marcus Aurelius. “For nothing delights so much as the examples of the virtues when they are exhibited in the morals of those who live with us. […] Hence we must keep them before us.”
—Meditations, Book VI, 48.
Today is devoted to that: delighting in the virtues of others. First, I was delighted to discover my favorite nearby island, Vashon, made the news this morning in the New York Times! It is an article in the Science section about the innovative COVID-19 testing program that some volunteers (including a retired cardiologist) set up on the island, and which is now being offered as a model to tribal communities and other rural areas around the nation. I love the concept of “inherent trust” that exists among the islanders, and which will doubtless help the contract tracers follow the path of the virus, were there to be an outbreak on Vashon.
(It may sound crazy, but I like to think that all of us people–tailors, sewers, grandmas and teens–all the people who are sewing beautiful face masks for other people around the world, that maybe we too might help foster trust among those who are protected by our creations.)
The stock market rallied yesterday on news of other people making a difference–scientists working on a promising vaccine. Yay for people creating positive changes in their communities and in our country!
and fyi, yesterday’s face mask production, alongside our new window sign for Week 10:
Here’s hoping tomorrow brings more positive news! 🙂
Q: How to be a good mom?
A: The best answer I can give, as a long-time member of that bittersweet club known as motherhood, comes from Epictetus (or the kids on the playground): MYOB, mind your own business.
As readers of The Art of Living know, there is a chapter entitled, “Disregard What Doesn’t Concern You.” It begins like this:
“Spiritual progress requires us to highlight what is essential and to disregard everything else as trivial pursuits unworthy of our attention. Moreover, it is actually a good thing to be thought foolish and simple with regard to matters that don’t concern us. Don’t be concerned with other people’s impressions of you” [or of your children]. “They are dazzled and deluded by appearances. Stick with your purpose. This alone will strengthen your will and give your life coherence.” The Art of Living, p. 20.
That’s all there is. Sounds easy, right?
It’s not. But it is a good goal.
If you can bite your tongue and think about how much you love your child, all the time, just that, you’ll be a great mom. [As kids are wont to remind us sometimes, they did not ask to be born. So our job is to accompany them in this journey of life. None of us chose to be born. And it’s hard to live with purpose. But what other life would you want?]
p.s. If you can do the same thing for yourself, you’ll probably feel much better about her, too. Works for husbands also. And dogs. Cats who pee on the rug, not so much…
fyi: yesterday’s face mask production, and packages ready for pick-up
Last summer, I received the postcard seen here: a sinuous black-and-white icon symbolizing the lesson, “Don’t be Selfish.” After marveling over its beauty, I puzzled for days over the message, asking myself things like, “What French-speaker do I know who is also learning Thai? Why would someone go to all the trouble to send this card to me, knowing I cannot read it?” and most importantly, “Who would trust me to figure out the answers?!”
When I finally got the card into the hands of a Thai-speaker, who translated the signature as “Jasmine flower,” I thought immediately of a lovely young art student (named Jaz) I met this year. When I wrote to her, she replied, “Finally!!!”
What a gift! What Jaz gave me is the gift of trust. She trusted me to figure out the mysterious message. She trusted me to do so in my own time. She trusted me and waited patiently, until I did what she had hoped I would do.
Why is trust so hard for us?
As Bob Klein writes in Movements of Magic, “Don’t you trust yourself? Don’t you trust that you are a good human being who, if allowed to do whatever you wished, would do positive and loving things? What lies have you fallen for? Have they frightened you into believing there is a monster within you? It’s not a monster. It’s Body-Mind, your own true self…. the artist within you, the true creator and apprentice of Nature herself.”*
The next time you are dealt a mystery or encounter a challenging situation, try thinking in terms of trust. You are most likely capable of handling it. That is why you received it!
Bob Klein, Movements of Magic, p. 18.