I didn’t want to open the envelope when these teaching samples came back, even though I’d been expecting them. The Guild Program Chair wrote me a lovely note telling me they’d never had to cancel a speaker before, and they were sorry.
How do I write a blog post about what’s going on under the surface for those of us who love going out and teaching and meeting new groups (groups of 50+!) and hanging out with quilters and celebrating what they make in their classes?
When Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle of Modern Quilt Studio, in a newsletter, said that they’d canceled all classes and Guild visits until there is a vaccine, I knew that what I initially thought of a just-a-few-weeks experience was now going to be at least a year, if not two or three.
I think it’s been slowly dawning on most of us — as we stay carefully put, doing our “i-sew-lation” sewing, doing our best to be cheerful — that a creeping sadness is all around us. It’s not only the horrific amount of deaths from Coivd-19 or the stories of those on the front lines in the hospitals or that we share memes incessantly, trying hard not to be sucked under. That creeping sadness some call grief (and that may be what it is), interrupts creativity, joy, connection, and a host of other daily living patterns.
One morning’s walk this week, I dissolved in tears as my husband discussed all the formal steps we would have to take for possible retirement: forms to be signed, Zoom calls, separation from his job and mountains of research and careful planning. It wasn’t that we aren’t prepared or ready for this new shift in our lives. I was just jealous that he had forms to be signed, Zoom calls and mountains of careful planning.
I cried because all of sudden, doing what I loved was gone, and for the foreseeable future–it would remain out of reach. There were no forms to be signed. Just a lonely envelope in the mail from a most kind fellow quilter.
So many tears for such a little crisis, I thought. I immediately shifted into Counting the Blessings Mode, as that’s my usual. I have a wonderful home to shelter in, a sufficiently stocked sewing room, a kind and loving husband who works hard to understand me, sufficient steady income, a large family of brothers and sisters and parents and children and grandchildren and a wide expanse of friends, both in person and digital.
But it’s just hard to retire when you weren’t expecting to, when you’d found what you really loved to do. I don’t know how long it will be until I can greet quilting friends again in person. No one knows. But we’ll all just keep going, keep trying to count our blessings, keep working to bridge that not-in-person gap that we all face. Some days I do fine at this.
And other days an envelope makes me stop and have a good cry.
I’ll be in my Sewing Room — my particular version of a Happy Box — if you need me.
This came in my emailbox yesterday. Given what I wrote about above, I’m not surprised. I’m glad that the Modern Quilt Guild is being proactive on solving the problems that might exist in our new covid-centric world.
And as far as my teaching goes, I am in contact with my future quilt guild gigs, seeing what their plans are, if they will be holding events. If you have questions, and have already booked with me, please get in contact to discuss. Things change quickly.
The illlustration of the virus above is:
“A rendering of the outer shell of an adeno-associated virus with the exterior partially removed. The shell is used as a Trojan horse to deliver a genetic component of the coronavirus to raise an immune response. Credit: Eric Zinn and Luk H. Vandenberghe”
I thought the illustration beautiful.