I'm reading two books on writing, How To Read a Poem and Fall in Love w/ Poetry by Edward Hirsch and Writing Alone and w/ Others by Pat Schneider. As I read them I'm not thinking about my own writing but my quilt art...over laying the ideas to how I perceive my work and my process of working on quilts.
Hirsch spends the first chapter, 30 pages, passionately, almost orgasmic, stressing the intimate relationship between poet, writing, the poem, and reader. Its the reader that completes the life cycle of the poem. While reading the various ways HIrsch describes this relationship, I keep thinking that is what I want to achieve with my quilts. It is the viewer who will breath life back into a quilt long after I've completed it. In my eyes, I've yet to create a quilt that I think is wholely worthy of inhabiting another's soul but have come close with the the 2 pieces that make up the Liberation Quilts: Cilium 1 & 2. Also, with the prayer quilt for my children and the 3 small quiltlets that I showed in the recent preceding entries I am proud to release. Negotiating Territory was one that I was able to apply technical knowledge I'd learned on using value and designing an original block and I loved the concept behind the quilt's message. These works I am happy to show publicly. Other works are exercises for various ideas and techniques, such as the one above.
In Schneider's book, so far, I've fallen in love with her definition of discipline as less of a duty and commitment and more of being led by spirit and belief that the work is important. Schneider writes: To be disciplined as a writer you need a compassionate and welcoming attitude toward your own work, and you need the support of others who value and call forth your writing. She goes on to say: Failure to be a "disciplined" writer--whatever you may mean by that--does not mean that you are not a "serious" writer...Often the phrase (not a seriuos writer) is used by a critic or a teacher referring to a writer whose work they don't like...Anyone who cares enough to take a course or a workshop is serious. There is no place for this kind of arrogance. The desire to write is serious.
Schneider asserts that discipline begins with understanding HOW YOU work...the patterns that we employ to bring a project to completion. Also, that discipline is a matter of love and not duty...when you love a thing you make time for the beloved and the love is the root that drives us.
The other thing I find myself doing while reading these two books is thinking over the parallels of how I developed as a poet and how I'm wanting to develop as a quilter. I do wish I could employ that certainty and confidence I had when I was younger without over thinking. Now, I have decades of experience to reflect back on and I tend to not want to loose any lessons that will help me develop my sense of voice or a least a signature body of work. As a result, I could be guilty of over thinking my quilt making. Maybe (Cherryl) its not up to the creator of the work to identify the voice or signature and time spent worrying about whether one has one or not is wasted. (?????)
Incoming thought: I have no idea of what to prepare for dinner today...its cold and I don't want to go out and the fridge is pretty close to bare. Last night we had cranberry tuna salad, cheeses, pears, apples, grapes, crackers, and wine. It satisfied me and to my surprise Peter enjoyed it. Ade had burger and fries which he prepared himself. He will be 16 on Sunday. He is the youngest and has been so slow to mature. We keep stressing to him that in two years he will be 18. Lord help!
AH! I got it! I have 2 cans of lentil soup...that with some rice and baked sweet potatoes! Push comes to a shove and something will always turn up!