Two things this week got me to thinking about needing to reach out, friends. One is of a persistent kind that previously inspired some stitchery but petered out once I realized it’s hopeless–that is, there will always be unkind people (some may go so far as to call them “bullies”) in the world who seek to reduce the world’s stock of happiness in myriad ways. The other thing is all about the immense gratitude I feel for the many people from all walks of life who have come into my life in the past 21 months and helped me to carry a very heavy load–in big ways and small, and with equal thanks from me. Recognizing this second thing by far overshadows the first and gives strength to continue on the journey.

Handquilting tools

I was raised to treat folks with the respect you hope they have for you. You know, the Golden Rule and all? I learn every day in painful ways how naive I am to continue to try to work from a starting point of mutual respect since the reciprocity is rarely there. Of course, it’s not about the reciprocity, though I often lament its absence. It’s about living each day with all the dignity you can muster and being good to people despite it all.

It’s not easy to stay on this path; and I’m sure it’s not supposed to be easy. And of course I make mistakes but those mistakes are mortifying to me and make me endeavor to be better. This requires keeping insecurities in check and minimizing ego in order to make room for others’ stuff in life. Their baggage sometimes comes through the door before they do, right?

This isn’t about being a doormat, though.

More and more I think it’s about a generosity of spirit. Taking deep breaths and assuming the best of folks before putting down or demonizing makes us open to a wealth of positive (and potentially life-changing) experiences that are ruined if we only greet people with disdain.

Valdani eye candy

A person who I don’t really know well, but who is a constant figure in my life by assisting with my quilts and with various tasks having to do with the other thing going on, extended a small but kind gesture to me yesterday. It was truly nothing to him but it provided a simple moment for me to re-center my thinking and remember to acknowledge all the people for whom I am grateful.

This is a brief life we get. Instead of spending it stewing about some folks, I’ll bake some cookies to thank those others.

Thread photos are just unrelated eye-candy.

Thanks for your ear.