Quilts and love
Water and air
At breakfast one morning early this week I was thinking about the saying “fish don’t think about the water” while using my new fountain pens in my sketchbook. I combined that saying with my thought about how we humans don't think about the air we breathe much either.
This is also true of our cultural habits - we grow up with certain views as the norm and all too often assume those views to be “the way the world is" - until we read more widely, meet more people or travel and our cultural viewpoints become baggage we carry, unpack and repack. Anyway, here's a closer look at the finished sketch that I did all in one morning.
Then the mail came containing a handmade quilt that my adopted Mom and Dad had worked on together well over 25 years ago with a small amount of design input from a much younger me, i.e. looking at Dad's drawings and when the fabric was spread out I participated in putting colors next to each other. My Mom has recently passed away and before she passed had been adamant with my sister that I was to receive this quilt and one other related item. Here's a photo of the finished quilt, which just came via mail.
During my visits as they worked on this quilt they told me stories. Which I recorded in the sketchbook I was keeping at that time. Years later I used my sketchbook and Dad's lecture notes to illustrate and collect Dr. Bob's Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit. https://sueclancy.com/portfolio/dr-bobs-emotional-repair-program-first-aid-kit/ Here's one of the stories they told while working on the quilt that I illustrated for the book.
Generally we talked of the value in recognizing both the light and dark parts of ourselves and knowing which one we were picking up. Here's another related story.
There were many other stories which I might share on my upcoming website blog. Kind of like how last weeks sketchbook work led to a longer essay on my blog about foxes, hedgehogs and the creative process. https://sueclancy.com/hedgehogs-foxes-reading-and-making-meaning/
We're taking the quilt to be framed right away. It feels so correct, and so bittersweet, that after my adopted parents displayed so much of my artwork in their home for decades that now I will have their art to display in mine.
And I'm again, and continually, amazed at and inspired by the ongoing magnanimous generosity of my adopted Mom and Dad. Like my sisters and brother I hope to carry their love forward.
During the morning that followed our visit to the frame shop. I thought more about Mom, Dad and the quilt. The phrases I wrote in my sketchbook are paraphrased from my memories.
In one of our last conversations Mom said “Keep making your art!”. I thought about that and wrote, in still another morning sketchbook page, what I remember Mom and Dad saying about the human impulse to make drawings on cave walls and tell stories.
I hope you too are wrapped in love, that love is the water you swim in and the air you breathe. That you are able to see the love, pick it up and feed it.
Sue, I loved both stories. I have heard them before but the way you had condensed them in one page and illustrated them, was brilliant. I think you can write a book like that for children. One page illustrated, thought provoking, bedtime stories. They will be evergreen and megabit. Also I loved the fish flying while carrying a basket like a hot air balloon. Great idea. Please do share stories about your adopted parents.
Reciprocal art. This is an act of love.