Longing pops up at the oddest times. And, depending upon the situation I find myself in, or the stage of life I’m maneuvering through, that longing takes different shapes.
In my late twenties, that shape looked a lot like a quilt.
The Nana quilts.
I, do not.
She never even attempted to teach me. I think she just knew it wasn’t for me. Quilting takes patience. I lack that. In spades. Arranging squares together into a recognizable pattern takes a spatial relations gene I just wasn’t given.
But, what I lack in quilting experience, I make up for in appreciation for those who do. And a large part of that is because I read a novel by Whitney Otto, back in the early nineties. How to Make an American Quilt was profoundly affecting. Maybe because Otto wrote of passion and purpose before I knew I was looking for passion and purpose.
More likely, it had to do with the fact that I was floating around this earth, footloose and fancy-free, waiting to make a dent somewhere. I longed to be heard and seen but I wasn’t sure how or why.
Looking inward is something I do anytime I find myself identifying with a character (or characters). Anyone else?
And with each rite of passage that presented itself in the pages of this novel, I found more than a few personalities that I could relate to. It also provided plenty of soul-searing questions I knew I needed to answer for myself.
At the time that I read How to Make an American Quilt, I began to recognize some of the longings I read about as more common among women than I ever imagined. That felt reassuring as I continued to mature.
It’s for many of those reasons that I found the following quote potent in the shaping of my expectations for future relationships:
“The best men tell you the truth because they think you can take it; the worst men either try to preserve you in some innocent state with their false protection, or are ‘brutally honest.’ When someone lets you think for yourself, experience your own emotions, he is treating you as a true equal, a friend.”
I still long to be told the truth. Don’t we all?
Quilting isn’t my thing, but this book surely did help me see truth and it’s place in my world.
If you’ve missed the previous seven posts on the Best Books Ever, click the little button below. Tomorrow, I’ll highlight a book that moved me more firmly into my identity. I’m taking part in the Write 31 Days challenge. Click here to find out more.