I heard something the other day.
And when I heard it I had to stop.
So in order to listen, a bit more completely, I need to tell a story.
I started quilting over 22 years ago. As I started this journey much of the work was to learn to listen and learn. That listening had to be, must be active listening. Listening to, listening for the rules, to learn how to quilt. I needed, wanted, craved knowledge. I subscribed to magazines, I watched Simply Quilts, participated in message boards, and user groups, joined a guild, visited quilt shops. Taking notes along the way for that which spoke to me, whispered, capturing my attention.
In and among that learning are friends, who quilt, create art, create art quilts and have vivid imaginations. They are bloggers, facebook friends, vendors, editors, other teachers. Listening. Gleaning. Sharing. Each person contributing to and informing my quilting. One teacher’s words are repeated over and over and over again…more on that later. And then one day I “met” then met Linda M. Poole and happened upon her color fixes. And the whispering started.
Teaching started. Trying new things. Experimenting. Trying thread and batting. Listening. Trying new guilds. New magazines. New
Voices. Some voices waxing, others waning and still the whispering is asking me to listen. Seeking my attention but waiting to be heard and yet, the new, different teachers, via all of the different social media vied for my attention. Through all of this the whispering continued.
The whispering is my own voice. I sift through the other voices to hear my own. It is in tuning out the other voices, perhaps incorporating the wisdom that I can hear my own voice. That my own voice becomes clearer and stronger. As my own voice becomes clearer and stronger my quilting gets better. Mmmm as my quilting gets better my own voice becomes clearer and stronger. And I hear that I am the voice other people hear. And I need to be that voice, a source of encouragement. I’m not paying back or paying forward; giving what was given to me. I’m doing what comes naturally to me.
There will always be noise. It’s just part of life. I am the noise for other quilters. Some to whom I add beauty, some to whom I have not added beauty. The rose above and the sunset speak to how beauty happens. How the noise affects…it creates depth, depth creates beauty.
Eventually the noise settles down and beauty happens. Something is created, new things are learned, new motifs, and yada, yada, yada. (Get it? Yada, oh never mind.)
I’m off to reduce the level of noise a bit, by sitting in front of my sewing machine, cranking up the tunes and stitching.
PS I’m teaching at HMQS this year.
PPS I met Annie Smith but more on that in another blog. Like soon.