Why The Infinite Becomes A Quilt

Recently we were graciously asked for permission to use Charlie’s poem from our book, IN EVERY MOON THERE IS A FACE, on a quilt. Needless, to say, we thought this was a delightful idea! I was reminded of a piece I’d once written about my love of Quilts. I’m posting it here, for in rereading it, I agree with it still. Quilts are Spiritual things, and Quilters, Angels among us.

Quilts come from Heaven to bring peace and comfort to us on Earth. This, I believe.

Honestly, what human-made artifact has more love and practicality poured into its minutest bit of self? What has ever been created more humbly, more modestly, more patiently, more generously, more simply … only to end up more beautifully? These qualities, Virtues all, speak only to the Sublime. And in my world, the Sublime is a quiet thing, a simple thing, a functional thing that honors the body and soul of my human life.

I really love Quilts. I can sit and gaze at one, or two, or three … for hours. I go to shows and let my breath be taken away. My Quilt books are dog-eared. I admire anyone who makes them. I bless all the unknown women (and some men) who have made them and never told us who they were. I, myself, have never sewn a quilt and probably never will. And yet, and yet … in the mysterious ways of these things, it was brought to my awareness that, in a way, I do make Quilts. You see, that’s the wonder of Quilts and Quilt makers — like Prayer, they have the gentle ability to help us discover more than what we thought could be there. I don’t use a needle and thread in my “quilts,” I use paint and a very tiny brush. And I use my heart, a lot of heart — that’s an essential ingredient for any Quilt!

The Universe is ALIVE to me. Each single bit of it. Each seemingly empty space vibrates before my eyes and touches my mind with possibilities. When I paint I show this aliveness. My skies are not flat, my flowers are not just made from petals, they have stars in them. I fill up sheets of paper with lots of little squares, each denoting its measure of the Presence of Life in that particular place I put it. My art needs lots and lots of little squares. And isn’t that just what a Quilt does, too, with its INCALCULABLE tiny stitches, its myriad bits of fabric, all coming together to show a wondrous whole? A joyful coming together, revealing the oneness of all things.

Oh yes, Quilts are truly wonderful, for their existence confirms our Spiritual Nature. They confirm this in the most important way: by keeping us warm and feeling safe, uplifting us with beauty and, through the living heritage of generations, connecting us to one another in the present and for all time. We need them now just as much as in days gone by. And, thankfully, more and more are being made. Constant reminders that people are — good.

How I Learned To Forget What I Know

I found a small precious stone in my pocket today. I don’t know how long it had lived there in the darkness of my obliviousness. Had it been there always? Had it been waiting patiently, or impatiently, for me? Who can say? How can I know? I live in a world that doesn’t ask these kinds of questions or believe in unexpected treasures in one’s pocket. Yet they are hopeful sorts of questions, aren’t they, in a world like this one?

Given my druthers, I’d go through the day pondering things like this and nothing else. I believe Life is made of treasures appearing to be of small significance. I am the one who searches the back of the bookshelf where the tiny pamphlet by an unknown author disappeared through the crevice of important books–the one dusty and dog-eared in which a nameless reader found Something.

I presently (still, though my world is changing) live in a world of books. They line my walls and to enter the room where they live brings me so much inner satisfaction. I feel cozy and warm. And yet, and yet, they contain nothing I can ever really need. It is agreed, where I live, that books are the repository of great ideas and it is important, they tell me, to collect these great ideas as if they were going to go away someday.

The world I live in is full of books in many ever-changing forms. Full of ideas put down somewhere after having been thought by somebody. I’ve been told how important it is for me to know these ideas, to hear them, to read them … to STUDY them. “They will make me more than I am.” I did wonder about all this kind of thinking when I first started on this human journey and then I realized this was not to be questioned so I gave up and simply evaded the issue, even with myself, and got on with things. I read and I studied. And I studied and I read.

Sigh. How lonely and unfulfilling it is, merely attaining externals. It leaves me feeling empty somehow.

When I Don’t Listen To The World

Little drops of laughter fill the petals of my flowers. They appear as bits of dew and let the morning shine all over as if the day’s beginning were a thing worth rejoicing in. I wander through the meadow of my yesterdays and wonder at the insanity I planted there.  Apparently I allow no end to the nonsense I can consider real.

And yet, nothing of my true self can be altered by my foolishnesses, nothing in me, nothing that is mine, is harmed by the mistakes I have allowed to be made by my idle and fruitless human mind. I must remind myself that the human mind I am thinking I’m thinking with, isn’t real. It is a pure invention in forgetting. Life, being creative even when I am silly, will take my notions and render them into my actions and experience, never contradicting me, until I finally see for myself.

I have discovered, to my utter relief and delight, that making a mistake is a reminder to Let Go. It is meant to bring the understanding that dissolves all belief in regret, remorse, and punishment … although the world I live in so believes in punishment. Letting go is the Blessing my self-awareness brings when I am quietly present in the moment not filled with all the things I’ve been told. The deep Quietness within me speaks to me of my unchanging innocence and when I listen carefully, in that place with no words, I hear it too.  And then I clearly see and hear the drops of laughter filling the petals of my flowers.  And I know they are my tears of rejoicing in what is true about me and will always be true about me, even while I live in this world that tells me otherwise.

Uncloud Yourself

Unclouded is your sky.  It is not shrouded in gloom or threatened by darkness where you cannot see Life in all its glory as yourself, as all you are.

You waveringly begin to regain the optimism that you believe you lost.  It is believed by all of you that mistakes are hard to undo; that they come to stay.  That is not so, Beloved.  I tell you only the good comes to stay.  It is your bedrock.  It is the truth.

Let it be that the thing troubling you is on its way out.  Let Me do it for you.

All I ask, is your trust.  Only that.

I Am Able

Freedom is a reality bigger than this world.  It opens the vista of living.  It brings the soft, kind wind of imagination to move all things in the direction they want to go.  It is life. 

It is your life, dear one.  It stands underneath you, supporting you in the smallest, most complete way.  It is the song the Thrush in your heart sings to wake you in the morning.  It is the unfurling of your limbs that permits you to climb the highest mountain as if propelled by wings of mightiness.  Freedom has come with you into this dream.  It is by your side and under-girds you, protecting you from all confusion of spirit and mind.  Trust it, rely on it.  Believe in it. 

Act as if you do.