Voices (or … To Whom Do You Listen?)
Jul 9th, 2007 by Sonja

The past couple of days have been hectic. Saturday saw the return of the GrandPea to camp and an unanticipated visit to an Urgent Care clinic for LightGirl. It seems that she may have torn her meniscus while at hockey camp last week. She’s on crutches now and we’re wending our way through the medical system to see how we should best proceed. Sunday began with a family breakfast then packing, sorting laundry and good-byes. Good-bye to GreatPea (my aunt), LightMom and GrandPea, as LightChildren were off to a week with their other grandparents. LightHusband and I are back at camp. And peace. And quiet. And phone calls to doctors. And just a little bit of worry.

Rosie Lee ThompkinsLightMom and I went to a quilt exhibit together.  She loves to look at quilts almost as much as I do.  The difference being that I like to also make them.  We saw these quilts at the Shelburne Museum.  The exhibit was called:  Something Pertaining to God:  The Patchwork Art of Rosie Lee Tompkins.  Rosie Lee (not her real name, she took a pseudonym so she wouldn’t become too proud) said she would think of something important when she pieced, you know something pertaining to God … I really liked that.  I think about those things when I’m piecing and quilting too.  If I’m making a quilt for someone specifically, I pray for that person or their family.  Or I weave thoughts and dreams for them into the quilt.  This is likely not unique to me and/or Rosie.  I think that many quilters weave hopes and dreams into their quilts.  I liked the way that Rosie put it “… something pertaining to God.”

Rosie’s voice is tied up in her quilts (and quilted book pouches … she made some to match the quilts).  She died a couple of years ago.  I wish her voice was verbal instead of fabric.  I have no doubt she has some wonderful earthy wisdom to pass on.  I’ll bet it’s colorful and interesting too … told with a twist.  Born and raised in Arkansas, then she raised a family of five in California.  I’m certain she had stories to tell.  What a treat it would have been to sit quietly, stitching and listening as she sewed and talked … just to hear her voice and learn her technique.

I have sat and stitched with other quilters; learned their techniques, talked with them, cried with them, shared secrets with them.  I’ve learned over the years which voices to listen to.  Which have knowledge that I can profit from and which are fun to chat with, and which will give me support.  Who to call for help with applique or help with quilting or help with tricky set-in seams.  I’ve learned how to sort out the voices … who will tell me what is tried and true.

I’ve been thinking about that today.  I’ve been thinking about voices and who I listen to.  And who I don’t.  And why.  I’ve come to love the internet.  It’s a great place.  You can find anything there that you want.  For instance, I scared myself skinny (well … almost) about LightGirl’s meniscus tear this morning.  You have to be selective about which voices you’re going to listen to out on the big wide internet.  There are voices out there which will scare you and cause you pain.  I’ve found over time that when I keep going back to those voices (getting scared and/or hurt), that the authors are not the inflictors of the fear and/or pain … I am.  The site is static.  I am going to it.  If I keep going to it and getting scared, then I need to stop.  So I do.  As in this morning, I stopped looking for information when it was causing me too much worry about LightGirl’s condition.  I’ll wait til we get a definitive diagnosis from a real doctor, instead of the dr. dolittle on the internet.  I love the fact that I have control over who I listen to and when and why.  So that if I’m in pain or fear I can stop listening to that voice.   And listen instead to the voices of quilts or quilters … or even, the Holy Spirit.

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