A few “story-ish” things to share on this rainy spring day.
Last fall when I began to think so much about the concept of “Story”, I discovered, not coincidentally, Donald Miller’s Storyline workbook and website. Working through the exercises in this book provided the encouragement I needed to start sharing and collecting stories where folks might actually see them. His online storyline process was empowering and I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to start something new or feel that they are stuck in a rut.
But. Something I’ve wrestled with since I started writing some about “Story” is that it feels like EVERYONE is writing about “Story”. Maybe it’s because I’m now aware of how this theme is so universal. It gets kind of crowded and crazy in my head when I start thinking about why I’m even doing this and if it’s really necessary to add my quacky voice to all the internet noise.
Then this came like a gift to me in the middle of all that musing. Most of my grandmothers quilted and most of their friends quilted. They used recycled scraps of fabric saved from all sorts of sources, like worn out clothing and feed sacks. With these bits and pieces they created art. They made something beautiful and useful out of the scraps of ordinary life. They didn’t NOT quilt just because someone else was also quilting. They created quilts out of necessity, but also for the pleasure of creation.
I don’t believe any of my grandmothers won ribbons at the county fair for their quilts. But that matters little as I use some and store others in a cedar chest for their great-great grandchildren. I love thinking about all the stories represented inside each fabric square and stitch. Their time and energy and artful creativity continues to bless our family years after the fact.
When words start floating around in my head, they feel like scraps to a quilt that need to be pieced together on my computer screen. Color added to them with photographs. Processed pieces of ordinary life sewn together into sentences with “Story” as the backing fabric.
I’ve decided it’s foolish to not have fun sewing together words about life and story, just because lots of someone elses are also writing. I’m grateful my grandmothers spent time stitching beauty. They left something of themselves for me to enjoy and use.
Since quilting isn’t my thing, I’ll keep sharing and collecting stories and maybe my grandchildren will someday be grateful .
Oh, I hope you like the new theme for The Story Place blog. I was shooting for a cleaner design. The books across the top is a photo I snapped in one of the many handmade paper shops in Florence. Beautiful empty journals waiting for stories. It seemed appropriate.