Muse Day February 2010

The pair of quilts

we pieced together, laughing

at the future’s far design

my handiwork now covers a husband, babies –

hers, a corpse.

Carol Purington

Thank you Carolyn gail for giving me the chance to be twice inspired on this Muse Day. My friend Carol Purington wrote the poem, published in her book A Pattern For This Place, and my friend Lois Holm made this quilt for me when I retired from the Buckland Library.

I knew of Carol, before I met her, as the “poet who has been in an iron lung since childhood” but over the past few months I have come to know her as a working poet with a quick intelligence, a critical eye, and a loving heart. She has been generous to me with her attention and advice as we have worked together on my new writing project. And I have been able to watch the progress on her new project, a poetry anthology for parents.

Lois was my devoted library volunteer, trustee and dependable prop when I worked at the Library. She came to the library as a volunteer after a full professional life as nurse, working in the schools, and deep involvement in her community. I was incredibly lucky about the timing of that retirement which brought her to the library not only as a reader and patron, but as my major support and exemplar.

In this quilt she drew not only nf my love of gardens, but of my time in China. It is a work of art with the careful combining of color and pattern, flowers and ripples. Chinese art often includes an element of time, as do haiku, Carol’s chosen poetic form. The band of fabric with golden ‘ripples’ suggest to me the time that is always flowing past us. The quilt itself, and the poem reach back into memory, and into the present with continuing affection.

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Tinky

    Both quilt and poem are personal and perfect!

  2. carolyngail

    The poem and quilt are both remarkable. I’m a big fan of quilts, especially those that tell a story. My mother died when I was four but she was a master quilter and left her masterpiece to comfort me.

    I didn’t know that you spent time in China. I have great respect and admiration for the Chinese culture and its ancient wisdom.

    Thank you for sharing these meaningful musings with us.

  3. Pat

    Tinky – They are absolutley perfect!
    Carolyngail – Quilts do offer so much comfort.

  4. Gail

    The quilt is beautiful and so dear. Thank you for sharing this lovely poem and the story of the poet and your friend~ gail

  5. Lisa at Greenbow

    What a treasure to comfort you. Your story is very interesting. Happy GBMD.

  6. Carol

    What a beautiful quilt Pat! How delighted you must have been to receive it as a gift. Carol’s poem is very powerful … beautiful. So lovely that you have special connections to both of your offerings today. carol

  7. donna

    This is a beautiful and meaningful post. How lucky you are to have two special friends like Carol and Lois. I’m sure you treasure them.


  8. Frances

    I spent a little time studying the quilt before reading the poem and your narrative, Pat. Instantly the Chinese connection was apparent, but the checkerboard is very country United States to me. A fine juxtaposition of styles that speak well of the quilter and it’s proud owner. The poem is perfect as well.

  9. Pat

    Gail – The quilt is quite breathtaking in its design, and joins a dear friend with an extraordinary period of our life.
    Lisa – The quilt and the friendships are treasures indeed.
    Carol – I originally thought it would be hard to find appropriate items for Muse Day, but it has been one of my favorite memes because it has given me a wonderful lens and focus. Thank you again Carolyn gail.
    Donna – I have always been lucky and I am smart enough to realize that and treasure the important people in my life.

  10. Pat

    Frances – I hadn’t noticed that double cultural connection, but you are so right, and that makes it even more precious.

Leave a Reply