There is an appointed time for everything,
and a time for every affair under the heavens.
A time to give birth, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to tear down, and a time to build.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them;
a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away.
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.
I woke up with this passage from Ecclesiastes in my head. I started thinking about the way some Psalms are written to be read/spoken/heard in choir or response. There are several Psalms written in this format, and when I’ve heard, and participated in the effect is really something to hear.
This bit from Ecclesiastes thought, I’ll always hear like this:
A time to rend, a time to sew caught my attention. As quilt makers we cut (rend) perfectly good fabric, sometimes in odd ways, and sew it back together. If we clip and rip, which completely freaks out some people, we truly rend the fabric. Rending seems to make the fabric waffle, however a quick pressing will get the fabric to lay flat. We then have the true grain to work with. Rending edge to edge gives us some seriously straight pieces. Depending on the width of my fabric I will clip, rip, press and then cut whatever I need for the quilt I’m working on.
It often feels like there is a difference between cutting – nice, sweet, clean, caring, quick, ready to use; and Rending, which seems rough, coarse, violent because we hear the tearing of the fabric. We have a strong, full-body reaction, like nails on a chalk board or incessant drumming of fingers, to the sound of rending fabric.
Rending looks, and feels frayed.
When Jesus died the veil keeping vigil was torn in two opening the Holy Place to all.
No matter if the fabric is cut, or torn and sewn back together again it is never the same. It’s better, more complex, joined, it’s part of a community.
About ten days ago I started growing lettuce, having seen pics of other people growing lettuce, it’s pretty and later this summer will give me another round of lettuce that I enjoy. In the mean time this needs to go into another vessel so the growth may continue. This needs attention, time, and a good talking to now and again.
There’s a time to plant, and a time to reap. Or a time to uproot. Uprooting gives the earth time to rest, to absorb rotting roots left behind, as well as deceased bugs, and whatever else to enrich the soil, making it fertile once again.
I’ve been thinking about these last few years, and how challenging they’ve been. How I’ve felt so torn, and broken, so empty, so well I could go on but the point would be lost. Over the last couple of months I can see something shifting, not only in digging into creativity/quilting sense, but in who I am as a quilter and in my faith. There are still some very strong needs (yes I still need a day job – your prayers are appreciated) there is a deeper sense of peace in whatever season this is (honestly for a person who does not like winter this feels particularly snowy and darned cold!)
And I’ve set some goals to get a few quilts done for a show early next year. This! makes me silly happy. God is Good!