With the extensive blogroll on the side here you can see that I check in on and read a lot of blogs. There are more that I subscribe to including Seth Godin and Bernadette Jiwa of The Story of Telling and a few more. Bernadette wrote What Will Your Verse Be about the death of her hero Robin Williams. Side note – one of the best eulogies here: Russel Brand
There are a couple of things that Bernadette says about Robin that spoke to my heart:
He cared about doing that. He knew it mattered. He understood that he was here to contribute a verse and that doing it meant facing his fear of failure. I’m glad he did.
Despite his genius Robin Williams was no exception, he experienced the fear of not being good enough as we all do.
There is so much running through my mind right now: how he has been part of life for so long I can’t quite remember a time when he wasn’t there; he mattered; he gave life; brought us joy, touched our hearts. Oh I could go on. I could share how Dead Poet’s Society, Good Will Hunting, Mork & Mindy and Patch Adams touched my heart. I could touch on how depression and mental illness are so misunderstood. (they are) Robin’s mind and heart, his love and humor will remain for a long time.
I am a quilter. And I want to speak to quilters: what you do matters – whether or not it’s public. We wrap people up in love, make art for their walls, keep them warm, bring a smile to their faces, offer comfort in tough and downright ugly times. That’s what matters.
That fear of not being good enough – it’s there, right under the surface for all of us. There is no right or wrong way to deal with it, to express it, own it. I’d like to sit here and say just relax, it’s a quilt, it’s thread and fabric and batting. But it’s who we are, like Robin, on stage (quilt shows, blogs, magazines, patterns, fabric, thread collections) for all to see. And sometimes that fear that we’re not good enough is realized in the comments other people make. I’m not calling out anyone in particular or referencing anything specific. Though with several recent events I could. Oh wait, I’ve called myself out before for being less than kind in my words.
It is exactly this fear that “giving quilters permission to do whatever they want” hopes to address. Seek your own path, find joy in your quilting, quilt for you, quilt because you enjoy it, quilt through the troubles, quilt through the fear, (and yes I speak to myself as much as I speak to you). Ask questions as much for what to do as what Not to do. Quilting is a journey of the heart and to the heart. And your heart is precious. Your mind is amazing.
I also want to say make quilts for here and now – not 100 years from now. That quilting for 100 years for now adds so much stress and anxiety to our quilt making. I do not care one whit if my quilts last 100 years, I quilt for here and now with as much passion, heart, soul, and joy as I have in this moment. Quilts are for now. They bring joy here and now.
Now go quilt your day. I’m going to write, try out new rulers, write some more, review a book or two, write another blog and send a big email and search for inexpensive plane ticket.
Go quilt your world!
6 thoughts on “What will your quilt (verse) be – Pondering Alert”
You are so right. Thanks for this Teri.
Your thoughts are so beautiful. I always thought that I was just afraid to try anything new, but after reading and reading again, I realize that it was just a fear of not being good enough. Not that that will change anything, but it has brought new meaning to me.
Thank you. You have a great way of saying what needs to be heard, and I always appreciate your blog. This post touched my heart. So again, thank you.
Thank you for your beautiful, inspiring. Encouraging post, Teri. I miss him too… Like a torn thread in my life quilt, dangling there annoyingly.
As a brand new free motion quilter, I had no idea what superb therapy free motion quilting is. Who needs to pay someone to listen to my depressing woes when all I have to do is drop the feed dogs and let her rip.
If its bad work, who cares? As you say, its only fabric and thread an batting. Wish Robin had found some equally wonderful solace.
My big fear now… Will I run up our electric bill? Will the noise of the machine drive my husband bat shit crazy, because free motion quilting is about all I really want to do these days, even though I don’t know what I’m doing yet.
Thanks again for your comforting post. I wrapped it around me like a quilt.