Last night I dreamt that the big, beautiful tree in my back yard came crashing down into the center of my house. In my house, the kitchen is on one end, and the bedrooms where the boys sleep are on the other. So in this dream, when the tree came through the center of the house, I was with my husband in the kitchen and there was no way to get to our boys to see if they were hurt. The last thing I remember is asking my husband if I should call 9-1-1 because I was so scared and confused. . .
And then I woke up. My heart was pounding so hard in my chest that it actually hurt.
My dream was so real that all day I’ve been giving side-eye to the tree. (To be honest, I do this to my husband for dream-misbehavior, too. So it’s only fair to throw some shade at the tree. Ha! Shade! I love puns!!!)
In an effort to forgive the tree and not call my landscaper to chop it down before the sun sets, I decided to look up possible interpretations of the dream, other than “the tree is trying to kill us”. According to the dream dictionary, a falling tree means:
[A] sense of threat to your identity; this can often suggest a big change in the way you express yourself. It is a breaking down of the influences you lived from in the past. . .
Humph. A big change in the way you express yourself. Well, that is something. Because lately I have been spending more and more time thinking about just that very question. After the success of Lincoln, I’ve wondered, is it okay if I don’t want to make another improv quilt for a while? Is that what people “expect” of me? What does it mean if I don’t ever want to make another quilt like that? Does that mean I don’t have a true artistic voice or point of view?
For a long time, I felt like the only way that I could make something authentic (insert eye roll) was to make it with improv piecing. I assumed, wrongly, that making a repeating block was less artistic and more functional. Even though I LOVE simple, symmetrical patchwork, I was afraid that if I made simple patchwork, I would be making something that people didn’t want or expect from me.
But I’ve had a lot of time to think since QuiltCon. And during this time of silence I have determined that, at the end of the day, what matters most to me is making with intention. Did I create with awareness? Did I make with gratitude in my heart? How does what I am making connect me to a greater community or purpose? It doesn’t matter if it’s improv or from a pattern. It doesn’t matter if it’s “traditional” or “modern”. It doesn’t even matter if it’s a quilt! As long as I am working with intention, I am using my time well.
I have been meditating more lately. I’m thinking about going back to yoga after taking a few years off. And I’m focused on using my time creating as a form of meditation — some sort of offering to the universe. Cutting fabric for blocks is a ritual. It is a ritual that connects us to the women who’ve made the same quilts before us. And there is value in that ritual and in continuing that history.
This is (hopefully) why that tree came down. Because I am ready. I am cracking my heart open, and I am sharing this with you. And I am letting go of fears that have ruled my making for so long.
Fear of what others expect.
Fear of not having a consistent P.O.V.
Fear of letting myself and you down.
From now on, I am just going to make. Whatever the hell I want. As long as I do it with intention.