Monday, September 13, 2010

Here's the thing...

(My apologies to anyone expecting lovely quilty pictures... those will have to come tomorrow morning. Tonight I need to express some frustrations...)

My graduate class seems like it COULD be a ton of fun, and a very good environment in which to learn, EXCEPT for a few individuals who seem unable to get their noses high enough. They have not criticized me yet; on the contrary, they gave high praise for "Brief Moment of Panic #317" and the other poem I handed in. That's half the problem-- they LABELLED them with all sorts of things like "having a persona" and "the deftly woven imaginary landscape" and such...

This is where I struggle to be silent during the workshop process. I want to stand up and shout, "I DON'T WRITE WITH A PERSONA, THIS IS JUST MY LIFE, UNCENSORED. I CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP! I THINK IT'S A SILLY POEM!" And that makes me feel like a charlatan... after all, I'm not Trying! I'm just writing down a portion of the million things floating in my head- poetry gives me a medium to put the jumbled thoughts that would otherwise race around, keeping me up at night. Kind of like designing a quilt or other sewing project lets me play with colors in a way that brings piece to the rest of the jumble in my head. If I can see a finished quilt of mine, I can show someone some of the chaos in my head. I can sort things out. The "quilt bug" became almost an obsession last fall when my dad was slipping further and further towards the end-- I made what is still one of my favorites, a 3 foot hexagon in black and white, done with mostly diamonds that look like snowflakes.... this was how i coped with the "winter" of my dad's life. In keeping with the theme of last fall, some of the snowflakes are made with a skull-patterned fabric, too. After he passed, I couldn't take it out to finish until mid spring when I was laid up initially from a bone bruise. But in hand-quilting it and binding it, I put my grief to rest, gave it a home outside of bringing me down.

So I guess my point for tonight is that I feel out of place in my graduate class because so far, all I've done is have fun with it. That's a large component of my quilts, too. I learned from my dad's premature passing that a life spent savoring each treat is much more fulfilling than a life of misery. I have been blessed with a husband who provides for me, so in return, my "job" is to bring joy to this world in whatever ways I can. I want people to smile when they see a quilt I've made.

Don't take me too seriously; I'm just trying to have fun!

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