Last week I went to Oregon to visit my youngest sister. My eldest and Little Miss tagged along, and it was a merry week of familial togetherness, with sport on the side. My brother-in-law is as devoted as I to various team games, so while girly chit-chat ruled during the day, basketball and hockey battled little ladies (and three mums) while my granddaughter fell in love with their dog Butter as well being mesmerized by their chickens.
Amid all the activities, in the back of my head was The Hawk. We even saw one on a walk, as if signaling what I’d be up to upon my return to California. I don’t know if the chickens were the impetus, or that it was merely time to return to prose. During the weekend, wondering if Draymond Green was going to be suspended for tonight’s Warriors/Cavaliers game, I finished reading over Part Ten, becoming even more eager to dive back into this tale. But this morning….
I didn’t feel like writing. I was mulling over other ideas, like yesterday’s shooting in Orlando, last night’s Tony Awards, how the Giants took two games from the Dodgers, and of course how might Golden State fare without the only member of their team who has played in every game this season.
Or had played; tonight Draymond won’t even be in Oracle Arena, and I won’t speculate about whether or not the Warriors will beat Cleveland minus one of their best players. In the big picture, Game 5 of this year’s NBA Finals is somewhat diminished by another event. Which brings me back to what this post is truly about, doing what I love. Last week it was celebrating relatives. This week it’s….
Okay, so today the writing tanked. I sat down with the best of intentions, but I didn’t feel exceptionally well, my mind was elsewhere, and…. And I know myself enough to say, “Right. Today I’ll do something unplanned.” This quilt, for someone very dear to me, wasn’t at all in my head. But now it’s on the wall, and I’m not sure exactly how it got there, other than to say sometimes the words land on the document as if by magic. Tunes were rollicking; I was up to my ears in the Hamilton Soundtrack (thank you so much Julie Rose!) which morphed into a dance playlist that kept my feet tapping as squares decorated the quilt wall, still playing as I type this entry. I can say I did some writing today, but it wasn’t what I assumed would be written.
But life can’t be lived according to schedules; it’s precarious, often far too brief. Sometimes it seems endless, like how The Hawk is taking ages to write, how Lin-Manuel Miranda spent seven years composing Hamilton, how over two hundred years after the Revolutionary War the awful sense of helplessness and horror attempts to again stifle our freedoms. Yet in the face of such evil, good does triumph, although it’s tinged with deeper considerations. What does freedom mean, what does love overcome? What is the state of our nation, a nation of states, a collection of people, ideas, hopes, dreams….
I didn’t watch the Tony Awards live, but I listened to the backstage chatter while watching the Giants and Dodgers. When the game was over, I returned to my computer just as Miranda was giving his post-win remarks, noting how long it had taken him to write Hamilton. Good things don’t often occur overnight; some treasures are lengthy in their gestation, and patience is required. But it’s hard to wait, although as I age, waiting has gotten easier. Or maybe my perception has altered, a longer view permissible. That wisdom, for lack of a better word, doesn’t make massacres more acceptable, but terrible things have happened all through history, and they won’t cease in my lifetime. Yet, I can do my very small part via prayer, and of course, the work. I write about love, hope, and perseverance in the face of long odds. I write about the nature of healing, even if healing seems impossible. And today I started a Christmas quilt, which perhaps is the best sort of quilt to design even in the middle of June.
Random pre-cut squares drew me to this project, at least consciously. But perhaps buried in the gray matter was a need to seek a deeper peace that not even writing could provide. Not that I understand any better what happened in Orlando, or who Steve Kerr will start in place of Draymond Green. I don’t even know why I didn’t feel like writing this morning, other than instead I began another quilt. A colourful Christmas quilt that hearkens to the future, which sits ahead of us like a gift. It’s our task to unwrap it with hopeful hearts, then find a place for it within our lives, even if we can’t imagine how or where. And if we allow grace to lead us, we don’t have to think too hard about the how or the where. We just do, or be, or…. Watch some sport on TV when the game starts. And if writing is on the docket too, okay! I’ll open my arms and mind to whatever is slated.
It’s how I get anything done anyways; ignore the uncertainties, embrace the now. Embrace all gifts, for you never know where a miracle is lurking.