"For every safe road, there are hundreds of paths that lead only to darkness."
I pondered what to share with you tonight. As my day unfolds, I save the random thoughts that come, or quotations I see (and remember!), and wonder which of them will pull words from me. It's kind of like looking at a basket of scraps, of every hue and pattern, and wondering what to make of them. This particular quote came from an episode of Beauty and the Beast, a particular favorite program of mine that saddened me when it ended. When contemplating making a quilt, the easiest thing to do is to pick a pattern, and then go purchase the colors and designs that would best compliment it. That way, one avoids the "paths that lead to darkness". However, no matter what you chose to do, eventually you have to face the scraps. Eventually you have to face the darkness and the fears that lurk there. Carole Coski came up with a pattern that effectively uses up scraps of any size or shape, any color, or texture. It allows us to "Boldly Go where no quilt has Gone Before!" (giggle. must be my night for TV quotes.) Anyway, all those dark paths that we encounter during out days on earth are still part of us, even if we managed to avoid going down them too far. We learn from them. We process information, and if we're lucky, figure out how to keep them from harming us beyond repair. But we really can't avoid them entirely.
There's something to be said for spending an afternoon with Carole's pattern for scraps. You can't run away from the ugly fabric, or the things that turned out to be utterly atrocious. Ya gotta use what your fingers pick up next! Them's part of the "rules". But with persistence, and by staying with it, soon your ugly experiences in fabric (or in life) begin to take on a new shape, a new identity. What emerges is a hodgepodge of colors and shapes, that then is defined with a squared ruler into something you can cope with ... something you can USE. Whether you choose to sash these new blocks of fabric you make, or whether you just sew them edge to edge, all the scary, icky parts come together into a symphony of their own.
So it is with life. You try your best not to take the unsafe roads, but you can rest assured you'll fail, and find yourself deep into the dark from time to time. Go back. Retrace your steps to a time and place when all was well, and mentally cross off that road you were on as a poor choice. But don't throw out the scraps. Toss them into the basket that is your life, your heart and mind. And then, on a sunny afternoon, or a quiet evening before a fire, put the basket on one side of you, and some strips of fabric (the safe roads) on the other, and begin. Soon you'll have something made out of even the bad experiences. As you wade through the scraps of the dark paths, they cease to have the power to hurt or frighten you.
I've just put the kettle on ... if you'd like some tea ...