“I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.”
― Augusten Burroughs, Magical Thinking: True Stories
I found this quote on someone else’s Facebook meme and it really struck a chord. I have no idea who Augusten Burroughs is, but his words in this line remind me of a Crazy Quilt.
If you know old time quilting, you’ll know the Crazy Quilt is one made of patches of other projects, not necessarily in any particular pattern, but a mess of scraps stitched together with a variety of stitches, plain or fancy. Here is a link to plenty of images. Often these are the remnants of deliberate dresses and shirts and other projects, making use of all the parts. And if you know the maker, she (or he) can sit with the Crazy Quilt and tell you the story of each piece of fabric: ”This was from Grandfather’s shirt… that piece is from Cousin Millie’s wedding gown …. that corner is all we had left of the tablecloth after the tornado…” and so on.
When you look at me you see I am made up of the scraps of other people’s encounters with me. My body, my mind, my heart, and even my home all bear the marks of other people, other places, other experiences. Hardly anything in my home is without a story.
To an outsider, my world is a mess of junk and nonsense, but to me it is all my story, made up collectively of chapters and verses. Much of my furniture (like my futon frame and even the desk where I am now working) were found on the sidewalk or at a yard sale. Much of my cookware was handed down from my father or collected from yard sales. I have many little doodads and whats-its to remind me of other people who have crossed my path.
Even though my life is a crazy quilt, it is MY crazy quilt, and I really don’t care if anyone else knows the stories.