I spend a lot of time in my sewing studio putting things together, cutting them apart, flipping them around, and putting them together again.
I think I’m obsessed with making quilts. I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I started the way all quilters start – or should. I learned the traditional method of piecing a quilt top by hand, putting it down with batting and a backing and then quilting it by hand. There was never a thought in my head that I should even piece a quilt by machine. Hand piecing is peaceful, slow, but peaceful.
That’s changed for me. I do piece by machine but I find it’s less accurate, not as soft, not as flexible. I have plans to go back to piecing by hand. Of course I also knit profusely, embroider and I have to cook and eat and do all those things that take time. I do not clean. If the house gets to the point where I start getting nervous because it’s so dirty, I might clean it. I might not.
Finding time to do everything means getting off my computer too. Not spending the whole day looking at things. Today I had to pay bills. I could skip that but the utility companies and the mortgage company get so annoyed when you do. It does take precious time away from creating.
I can walk away from house cleaning and bill paying, but not from knitting or quilting. They keep me alive, sane and happy. They are also a great way to shut out the world-confusion, get away from the anger that clings and stifles everything in sight. There is too much anger and hate – more than I remember from any time in my long, long life.
There was a time when America felt positive, ready to go, believing we could do anything. For a long time only 1/2 of us feel positive at a time. The rest of us are in a gloomy place. I can understand why 1/2 of us now are in the gloom, but I wish they wouldn’t sit in their gloom and spew hate at the rest of us. But that’s their nature, it is not mine. I can’t stop them from hating but I can stop myself from being bothered about it. What happens happens. The best thing I can do is accept what happens and not cling to the hate I see. Instead, I live in the moment, mindful that others are not in the place I am in, mindful that they are on a different place in the path we are all on – mindful that they don’t know they’re on a path.
In my book “Finding Truth, Mapping Life” I talk about Vashistha’s Yoga, a scripture written eons ago and translated. In that book, the explanation of finding truth is found.
“For when delusion is gone and the truth is realized by means of enquiry into self-nature, when the mind is at peace and the heart leaps to the supreme truth, when all the disturbing thought-waves in the mind-stuff have subsided and there is unbroken flow of peace and the heart is filled with the bliss of the absolute, when thus the truth has been seen in the heart, then this very world becomes an abode of bliss. Such a person has nothing to acquire, nor anything to shun. He is untainted by the defects of life, untouched by its sorrow. He does not come into being nor go out, though he appears to come and go in the eyes of the beholder. Even religious duties are found to be unnecessary. He is not affected by the past tendencies which have lost their momentum: his mind has given up its restlessness, and he rests in the bliss that is his essential nature. Such bliss is possible only by self-knowledge, not by any other means. Hence, one should apply oneself constantly to self-knowledge—this alone is one’s duty. He who disregards holy scriptures and holy men does not attain self-knowledge. Such foolishness is more harmful than all the illnesses that one is subject to in this world. Hence, one should devoutly listen to this scripture which leads one to enlightenment…”
“This very world becomes an abode of bliss.” Not hate, not anger, not railing against what is because you desire something that isn’t. Just being. Being mindful, being in the moment, being peaceful. Wish I could get the world-confusion to cling to that instead of hate, suspicious, anger and turmoil. Maybe someday. Whatever. Maybe it will only ever happen for a few of us while the rest keep coming back into the world-confusion of sorrow and pain …….. not knowing there is a way out.