Every day should start with the feeling of a successful new haircut.

Exciting. Intoxicating. Confidence-boosting. Light.

I had all those things, plus a wonderful pool-side lunch with C, a lovely friend, her lovely husband, and their wonderful pooch. Then, while on the scooter, I turned my head to check the lane next to me and YANKED MY NECK. Like, one of those horrible nerve twinges that makes your whole body seize up. Since I was in the middle of traffic, I could hardly throw the bike down and hop around wildly, which is what I wanted to do. Instead, I came to a slightly off-center stop, gently massaged the war zone in my neck, and sallied forth.

Which brings me to quilting.

Quilting is one of those sewing arts that has become rare, like the white tiger. Yes, yes, you can go to Pottery Barn or Ikea or Blah Blah and buy a  purported “handmade” jobbie, but unless you’re totally comfortable with the idea of the ghosts of many forced-labor child hands huddled over you while you sleep, you might want to avoid such a quilt.

As we grow more globally attached to our various handheld accoutrement, I find myself almost frantic for the slow. The Slow, as I think of it, is anything that requires a process that cannot be rushed. C has found his Slow…and it involves around 200,000 winged creatures that absolutely will not make honey any faster than they have been for the past millions of years. So, there. I struggle to find my Slow, often because I’m slightly obsessed with The Fast. Of course, I bitch about The Fast just as much as I find myself caught up in it – O! To be without my damn iPhone for even a day! To find myself, suddenly, churning butter! To have the fortitude to learn the zen of….anything!

So, I’ve returned to quilting. I made a brief attempt some time ago, but apparently needed about a year away before the yen resurged. I have yet to find anything to equal the satisfaction of making something, by hand, from start to finish. Using all your motorskills at once. Scissors cutting through fabric is about as sensual as you can get. And all of it, all the time, remains in the tangible world. I may dream a little conceptually before I begin, but once I have the fabric, the thread, the plan – it’s material, present. It’s all there in front of me, spread across the table, amorphous, but brimming with possibility.

There’s always a moment where I’m immobile, overwhelmed by the possibility. GAH. I have to force myself to start. Unless your quilt is five inches square, there’s a good possibility it will take a very long time to complete. Again, The Slow. Step must follow step. Stitches are linear. There’s a certain amount of surface to cover, and until it is, the quilt remains unfinished.

But think of when it is. There it will be, unique, a giant fingerprint. Designed for beauty, for comfort, for warmth, for longevity. There aren’t many things that fall into all of those categories at once.

Has anyone else out there found The Slow?

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