Friday, October 27, 2006
Just DO the Damn Thing
I've been trippin'.
I think that I'm going through some sort of uber-introspective phase. Thinking about so many, many things. Family history, familial order, childhood haircuts and how I will avoid allowing children's music to take over my cd player....how to broach issues like the "China Doll" thing, my waning interest in baby-item-shopping and jimmies vs. sprinkles. These things have been on my mind. I've also been thinking a lot about how important those first months of a childs life are. I think about that every time I hold my 3 month old neice.
Then there is the quilt. The Bai Jia Bei. The project that looms and daunts. My thoughts about it lately have been all about the why. Why am I doing this? Why am I torturing myself? Why?
Of course there are the obvious reasons: tradition, cultural value and - you know - creating a family heirloom is pretty cool. It is also cool connecting with other families doing the same sort of thing. Trading fabrics & wishes...and getting fun mail in the mailbox. Of course, there are the fabric & wishes sent by friends and family...the most special of all. It sure feels like a lot of love.
The quilt also appeals to my creative side. I love a challenge. I like pretty things. I love to make pretty things. I also love my sewing machine. It feels like a power tool that I'm skilled at using. Although it does need a little tune-up - but that is cool in its own way. It means that my machine has been used & loved.
Here comes the part where I'm trippin'.
This is quite possibly the biggest project I've ever taken on. I've fired many ceramic pieces, including trying my hand at Raku. I've taken quite a few watercolor classes, sewed a small collection of curtains for our home, knitted things big & small. Jzboy teases me because I frequently say "Oh, I can make that" about all kinds of stuff I see in baby catalogues and home magazines. I feel that I can pretty much make anything that I put my mind to. But, this quilt...this quilt project challenges me in a very different way.
Again, I ask myself "Why"? Why not ask someone to make it for me - a generous family member or maybe a paid professional? If this is such a headache - why torment myself?
The reason is that I need to do it for me.
This interminable wait for referrals is killing me. It is so incredibly difficult to not have a sense of the "when". The "how long". I'm hoping that the quilt will keep me connected...to keep me from stepping out of this long, long line at the CCAA. I think that this arduous quilt project will be a parallel process in developing the stamina necessary to get through this adoption wait.
It feels a lot like running a marathon. I did that last summer. I ran 26.2 miles through gorgeous terrain in Anchorage, Alaska. In the rain. I ended the race quite muddy, very thirsty and with TONS of mosquito bites. They bit right through the running pants. Not only was it one of the most difficult things I've done in my life...it was also one of the COOLEST. The difference with my current project is that I will be putting one stitch in front of the other vs. one foot in front of the other.
Coach Al always told us to "Just get out there and DO tha' Damn Thing. Stop trippin' & start doin'". The quilt I can do. The wait I will have to endure. And, the quilt will help me through it. Plus a whole lot of patience, determination and tenacity. Oh yeah, and a loud cheerleading section.
I believe that eventually I will make it to the end of this incredibly long journey and at that point, I will wrap my daughter in the crazy quilt I've sewn...and somehow all the pain endured will be off in the distance.
Now there's a pretty cool image.
**Pic at top is my collection of Bai Jia Bei quilt pieces thus far/Thanks to everyone who has contributed**