I’ve been taking frequent breaks today because of the heat and spent some rare time actually surfing the web – checking out not just the folks whose blogs I read regularly but some of those belonging to their readers. That took me to some new areas, some new topics but there seemed to be one overall theme going on – what are we doing here? what’s important? what am I doing that matters?
As artists we hope and believe that our work matters. Matters to someone, somehow. Makes someone think, or maybe blink back a tear, or smile. Maybe think something new or change their mind. Isn’t it funny that while I’m sewing little pieces of fabric together or quilting yet another bobbin worth of thread some part of my brain is thinking – please somebody please like this? I already like it. And I like the process that got me here and that I’m in the middle of, but if you dear viewer would just give my baby a little time that would be great.
I tried extra hard to help someone enjoy a few minutes of their life yesterday. It started in a very very rough harsh way. OK, I said – aloud – let’s try harder to be better then. So we began. The other person, there in a student role, told the air over and over again how this wasn’t good, that it was “torture”. I let those things go. I stayed on task and gave her time to figure it out, to remember, to put aside the “no-good-ness” of it. And most of the time she got to the right answer on her own. She fought it every step of the way though, and that’s hard to watch.
At the end, I asked if this had gone better than our last encounter and she said – oh yes. Which surprised me a lot. She went on to say that she didn’t think she’d ever be good at any of this. All about the practice I told her and she agreed somewhat noncommittally.
Out of the blue, I told her that I do quilting and that a long time ago, one of my favorite teachers had told us that the bad news is that it takes 10,000 hours to teach your sewing machine how to do machine quilting. The good news is that the second sewing machine learns how MUCH faster.
She laughed! She honest to God smiled and laughed! She looked me in the eye and smiled.
I’ve been thinking about that hour from yesterday all day today. It was Caryl Fallert who told us that years ago in a QBL class. Teaching isn’t easy no matter the subject and those moments like yesterday… mmmmhmmmm.
OK back to the new baby-work, cold beverage and drip catcher in hand, ready to sit in the fan-wind and get a little closer to finished.