Monday, February 2, 2009
I just finished a journal quilt that is all about questions instead of answers. Since I got sick, I've been struggling with issues of faith. In my past, "healthy" life, I thought I had a good grasp on my spirituality, my beliefs, my understanding of the universe. Since then, though, I've been struggling with questions about how my illness (how I?) fit into the bigger scheme of things.
For some reason, thinking about all these issues brought to mind one of our "wildlife" adventures, blogged about in this post. I kept thinking about those birds, swooping through the garage with their sticks and bits of fluff to build a nest, then with food for those little cheeping babies. I wondered if their diligence required a good bit of faith; living in the wild as they do, do they approach the nest every time with fear that either their eggs or screeching little hatchlings will be gone? Or do they fly confidently back with faith that everything is just as they left it? Maybe both: maybe there's no extracting fear from faith, and vice-versa. Or maybe neither: maybe those birds are just living life day-to-day, doing what it is their instincts tell them to do without thought. Either way, they go on, pushing through every day, and I have no doubt that they'll be back this spring, seeking out the relative safety of our garage.
This quilt started as a mixed-media collage on watercolor paper, using scrapbooking papers, stickers, stamps (rubber and postage), and paints. I then printed the collage onto fabric, cut it up into three pieces, and fused it to the background fabric. I left the edges of these pieces raw and pulled some threads to fray them. I machine-quilted the whole piece, then added the ribbon and, on top of it, the beads (which are pretty hard to see in the pic).
I don't think this quilt brought me any closer to resolving my struggles around issues of faith, but I do find something comforting in thinking about those birds and how they press on year after year in the face of their own struggles. Maybe in some small way, that's what faith is about.