Thursday, April 13, 2017

What's Not Working

I spent the last three nights glued to PBS from 8 to 10 p.m., watching the American Experience series on World War I.  It was a very good program.  "Good" from a historical perspective, and I learned a lot.  I didn't know much about the Great War, other than the few paragraphs I recalled from History class all those years ago (and maybe Downton Abbey).  This series painted a broader picture of what was going on at home and abroad during those years, and that was very enlightening.

Old oak along the walking trail.
Striking that there's been 100 years between then and now, yet some of the same or similar issues persist.

An ancestor (center) during WWI.
My overall takeaway:  We human beings can most certainly be good to each other, espouse lofty goals, try to behave morally, get along and work toward a greater good—and at the same time we are capable of doing awful, shitty, horrific, and terrible things to one another and our world.

I know.  Nothing new there.  We all know this.  We love and we hate.  We want peace and make war.  We rain down destruction in the name of our ideals, but in moments of truce, we celebrate and shake hands and share food and commonalities.

From an ancestor's personal photo collection - Local WWI Red Cross volunteers.
Things are not ever 100% black and white, right or wrong.  They are complex and nuanced and cast in varying shades of gray.  And we don't particularly like gray.  We prefer clarity, often to the point of inventing a vision of it and disregarding or quashing anything that would threaten to cloud it.

Can you see it?
What can we do?  Must history continue to repeat itself?  I don't have the answer.  But I think we strive do the best we can with what we have, what we know or can know, and then do better.  Be open to other perspectives, new information, old information if we didn't comprehend it the first (or 100th) time around.  Get out of the trenches of our biases, groupthink, self-interests, and us-versus-them mentality, and cultivate compassion and greater understanding.

This pair has been checking out the yard - male wood duck and female mallard.
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Well, how to segue to sewing from there?

I put the Solstice Challenge Quilt-Along blocks on the design wall last week and was promptly underwhelmed.

Meh.  It's just not working for me.  But that's okay.  

I've decided not to worry about catching up on the rest of the blocks that I'm behind on, and will just put it away for now.  Later on I'll look at it again and maybe have a different perspective.  Perhaps parts of it will wind up in a donation quilt or two.

In the meantime, I've started to pull and cut fabric for this year's Hands2Help charity quilt.  Sarah posted some eye candy recently that tripped a light bulb for me, and I ran off to round up some bright graphic scraps.

I'm excited to get started on it!