Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Some people are made of steel.  Some are made of stone.  They are hard and impenetrable.  Others are as light as air and float above the world, untouchable.  Things pass through them as if they were made of plumes of smoke and fine powder ash.  Everyone is different.  When I look back at my life, I see a quilt.  I see a patchwork quilt.  I am that child, laying on my back, looking up.  I see my mother and my grandmother.  Their hands are busy, pulling thread and tightening stitches.

The pieces that make up my quilt do not form a pattern, but randomly interlock.  The pieces and parts are experiences and memories bound together with a zigzagging thread.  The thread is a line that runs through it all, like a spider's tracery.  It is a brightly colored quilt, made of many patterns and kinds of fabrics.  There are exotic silks, everyday cottons, and sturdy denims.  There are fine linens, soft knits, and stiff canvases.  Different and diverse, they should not work together, but somehow they form a bigger picture.

The quilt of my life is well-worn and much used.  I have wrapped others with my quilt to warm, comfort and console.  I have dabbed tears with the fabric, mopped up messes and wrung out bad days.  Held by strong hands, the quilt can carry or conceal.  This quilt is an imperfect thing.  There are tears and rips, mended and re-mended.  Like scar-tissue, I am tougher and stronger because of it.  Little moths have chewed their holes.  I've patched the patches and keep on sewing.

When I look at my life, I see a quilt spread out and added to.  In its making, I've pricked my fingers, tasted blood, and remember.

1 comment:

Aranthe said...

That last line is worthy of a poem, Andrew—a poignant observation couched within the quilt metaphor.