Lean in Quilterly Friends we’re gonna chat books and life and quilting. Are y’all ready for this?
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned reading “Your Blue Flame Drop the Guilt and do what Makes you Come Alive” by Jen Fulwiler. She’s hosting Get Unstuck with Jen the week of November 15th, friends I’m diving in. Between going to Quilt Festival, talking with a few people and this I’m ready to dive into a particular challenge that I’ve been putting off, hang with me I’ll get to the why of it all shortly.
I don’t know if this happens for you but I find that I read like I quilt: oh this would be cool, ohhhh what about this? and how tiny can I make the swirling feathers I want to put into this area of my quilt? So I’m reading this and a few other books on my kindle, and I can keep them all straight. Part of this style of reading, and this style of quilting is that sometimes I want to take a physical break from one thing to ponder and think about whatever I’ve read and I’m not ready to be done reading but I need to think about what I’ve read or what needs to come next in the stitching.
One of the things I realized in reading this is that sometimes we have more than one blue flame, more than one thing that brings us life and more than one thing where we have to work hard to excel and yet in that it brings us great joy in the learning. For me this all falls under the Super Header of
Baking, writing, quilting, piecing, teaching, and speaking all give me that same energy, I find life, joy, struggle, anxiety – kind of a will they like it and does it even matter and yes it does, no it doesn’t and whew that was rough and I can’t wait to do this all again – and this intermingled excitement that gets me ready to do all of this again.
As I look at the baking writing quilting piecing teaching speaking of it all it’s all process related wherein there are hard and fast rules that when we know them in the core of our being we can break them with, wait for it, reckless abandon. Which leads me to:
Dave Grohl’s new book The Storyteller, Tales of Life and Music. (Note, if there is within you a deep aversion to foul language, don’t read the book) I’ve had this idea for a while to do something, that being me I just won’t do because, well I’m me and that’s that.
When I heard about the book I went and bought it immediately. Please understand that I’ve never been into Punk, or a lot of other “secular” musical genres. There’s tons of reason behind that however in thinking recently I’ve wanted to get to know my own generational cohort a bit better, and understand the beauty of culture more deeply. I’ve listened to some Foo Fighters, though not a whole lot. There is an almost immediate affinity for the style of writing leaving me at 103 pages into a 375 page book. I just bought this on Saturday. In messaging with Tracy Mooney I shared that I love his writing style. Her response is of course you do, he’s a poet.
His use of language, the stuff that’s drawn me into the storytelling is this prose evoking images of place and time, the struggle of growing up in the 70’s, coming of age in the 80’s, figuring out who we are and, and, and discovering that not only is it more than one thing, it is at the very core this story telling, poetic, creative, something or another who just has to do this thing. Dave’s done this music thing since before discovering Punk and forming the Foo Fighters. Me, I’m still figuring it out. Okay I know I’m a quilter and teacher and technician and speaker and I love playing with my words and have a super dry sense of humor but that thing and how I get to use it…all the work I’ve done until now is dropping me off on the doorstep and saying go get it kid.
Hang on I’ll be back in a little while I’m going to do an Instagram Live. I’ll be right back.
Okay I’m back. One bit of feedback I received on the book was something to the effect of “I could have done without the poetry like prose” in this particular section of the book. This was at once kind of annoying and this wildly great compliment. Deep down I know my book isn’t for this person and there was something of a sting much akin to being snapped with the tip of a wet towel. While the comment is intended to “correct” me and tell others “why this book is terrible” it does confirm that not every book is for every person. While reading Dave Grohl’s poetry like prose there’s at once this weird kinship in writing and I checked my personal permission slip and I’m going for it in the next series of things I’m doing. I’m bringing the quirky weird dry sense of humored self to video content that I need/want to do. One of the things I’m admittedly concerned about it being a talking head presenting all this exciting, quilterly changing stuff in such a dry manner that the video gets turned off five minutes in. Yep there’s the whole do they like me and the stuff I’m teaching?
And then there’s this I wrote last week. The threads of my work are coming together in a way I can see them.
If you would take a moment:
And the great Picture Show
And the place we engage in so many characters
And the place where we chat each other up
And the great big bulletin board and idea wall