Winged Victory: I Am Better.

posted in: Sicky 5
Winged Victory of Samothrace. Photo: Wikipedia
Winged Victory of Samothrace. Photo: Wikipedia

Sometimes, the universe cuts you a break and life’s cheese grater is swapped for a feather pillow. This morning, I flew into NYC to have a procedure that would determine the health of my intestines.

Diagnosis: awesome.

There is no detectable inflammation. My pouch is scarred, it’s too small, and related aspects of all this will cause me discomfort from here on out, but how could I possibly care when the doctor tells me I’m not bleeding internally? My long-lost colon literally ate itself to death, but it appears my j-pouch don’t even want a snack.

When you think you’re on a bullet train to very bad news, it colors everything you do. Having a bad day? It’s worse than it would be, because in the back of your mind, you think, “This day is lousy and also I’m dying.” When you think the clock is ticking toward bad test results, a good day is tinged, too, just a little, because you find yourself fleetingly thinking, “This day is fantastic; I don’t even care that there may be something terribly wrong with me.” O, pernicious subconscious; how ye thwart joy and gladness.

That this burden is lifted from me for the foreseeable future… It’s hard to express my relief. To be absolutely honest, the tiny August Strindberg in me does wonder how long the good news can last, but the Chiquita Banana in me is beating him down with a banana.

I’m okay. I’m okay. I’m okay.


Quilts + My Brain Fog

posted in: Day In The Life, Quilting, Work 6
Eva Phillips, Lora King and Crystal Cruise on side of quilt frame. Photo: Terry Eiler, 1978.
Eva Phillips, Lora King and Crystal Cruise on side of quilt frame. Photo: Terry Eiler, 1978.

Nestled cozily in the Library of Congress, waiting for me to discover it tonight while doing research, the photograph above shows members of the Meadows of Dan Baptist Church quilting group hand quilting a Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt on a frame. Isn’t it marvelous?

Quilts have wrapped around me, covered the ground under me, and been pulled over me my whole life. As a tot, I sat on a lap I had to share with a wooden hoop (didn’t mind.) I played under tables in church basements while quilts were basted above me. Spools of thread were great tables for my sisters and my Sullivan Family figurines. Being immersed like this means I have had a deep love for the American patchwork quilt for a long time, almost like a person loves her country. There’s no question, almost no notice taken of the love and honor one has for it; it’s just who you are.

As a result of this immersion and by sheer osmosis I’ve known a fair bit about quilts and quiltmaking for some time — even when I wasn’t making quilts myself.

My “quilt epiphany” happened right around the time I got sick. Life as I knew it was falling to pieces, and it made perfect sense to tear fabric up into pieces and sew it back together again, but prettier. Growing along with my passion for making quilts grew a deep and abiding love for the history of the American quilt, the story of the thing, the reasons why, the hows, the styles, etc. And so my quilt geekhood has ripened into true geekdom. I could talk double-pinks and madder browns all day, I think. The stories, the people, the quilts themselves never get old. Even when they are old.

This post has taken me well over an hour to compose and it’s still not right. My brain is in a fog. The diet is very difficult. My guts feel better — honestly, they do. In fact, there are several reasons to be extremely happy with the results of this major change so far.

But I’m slow. And I’m foggy. And I keep looking at those women quilting and I would like to crawl under the table and be six.