By Pat Larsen
For Capital Region Independent Media
Quilts. A true reflection of passion and love for life itself.
The colors of the fabrics and materials used to create these works of art are as diverse as the beliefs of the people who conceived them.
Quilt patterns tell us stories and have become beautiful symbols of life and death and all that lies in between. Great care goes into the creation of these symbols of the times that were lived in.
Keeping these artifacts in pristine condition preserves the hard work and the dedication offered to complete the project. Within each block that is stitched together comprising a top, batten and bottom layer is the desire to build a strong, durable final product that will withstand the tests of time.
Is that still true for how we are living our lives in this day and age?
I thought about some of the frustrations we’ve been facing of late and the way in which we are mismatched in our dreams and goals for the future in this great country of ours. The basic tenets of freedom of speech and choice and accountability of our actions no longer seem to have merit.
Many days are spent in discussion with friends and family about limitations and frustrations. Fears over issues we have no control over, mandates and misinformation make up a good part of our concerns for ourselves and our futures.
WHAT IF? We took the time, just as those who embarked on the making of the quilt did, to realize our future from the perspective of a beginning (by reflecting on what “worked” before), the preparation and gathering together of the materials to create the frame work of the life span that the quilt (our lives) would become and then to consider how all of this would make up the future prospects of the world we would then live in within the final product.
I do want to clarify that I had intended to write a separate Part II to the my original column of reflection on my personal experience with COVID mandates and the resulting heart issues and surgery. But at this point, as restrictions are easing up and the mandates and threats to health professionals’ jobs are becoming less of a pressing issue, I wanted to focus instead on solutions that offer peace of mind. I’m sure you want that as well.
We’re exhausted by the contraindications and “science” implications of the headlines every day. Those horrific stories will be told for years to come of the health care workers on the front lines. They’ll never be forgotten and so we’ll leave those tales for another day.
Before you read on, please understand, my offerings below are just that, my own. I am using the metaphor of “patching the torn quilt” as a loving reminder that what was once seemingly perfect of value should be preserved, but perhaps in a new way. Your solutions among your community, your family and your friends might be different, and possibly contain contrary ideas from mine, and still result in maintaining the integrity of your own quilt going forward.
I offer the following, as my ideas and welcome hearing about how you’ll navigate repairing your quilt as well.
My thoughts these days as I dare to imagine what the world, my world, will be as the dreaded “positive number of COVID cases” seems to be in decline every single week. The word itself “positive” is used to represent an entirely different meaning. To be positive meant a degree of certainty that would without question result in a good outcome. So to begin with, repairing my torn quilt will mean shifting to a place of confidence that leaves me believing in the best outcome possible no matter what the situation.
I feel it also important to review the values I have built as my foundation throughout the years. The framework of my life and how I’ve created the pattern of my choices clearly has been based on good choices… choosing those fabrics that are sturdy and hold up to the tests of time.
Reviewing what I have been willing to do to achieve my goals. Recognizing that the very threads of my experiences, and my ability to express how I would present myself to the world, was essential so I didn’t contradict the pattern of who I am. Emphasis on the pattern of how I put myself together so that the inner me matched the outer me.
There’s always been that back-stitch step that was necessary to rethink a wrong direction taken or a path that wasn’t in alignment with the final destination.
For future considerations I am now taking more time to consider how I want to express myself more openly, keeping in mind that this will help me to move forward to achieve my new goals.
I feel more assured that it is possible to move forward to patch the torn quilt that represents my life now more than ever. I do understand that common sense, compassion and kindness mean more now than ever before. I will forever see agencies that are overseeing my well-being as having hidden agendas. More than ever, I have decided not to just cave in to demands made out of fear and chaos, and I will take more time to research for myself what the outcome of my own decisions will mean.
I know what I’m willing to do and not do going forward and I’m certain that patching my own quilt with my own ideals and beliefs will feel much better than ever before.
Life is a thread of average moments. Tears add strength to the fabric and laughter is the lockstitch that weaves it into the tapestry of one’s life.
“Love deeply. Laugh often.” – Author unknown (sorry, it’s not me)
Next up, I’m returning to my roots as a health and fitness guru (that even made me laugh… but in truth I am). It’s time to get back on track and do everything, I mean everything, you can to get healthier, to improve your own immune system, to take into account that too much sugar is bad for you and hydrating your body is good.
So get ready. Pat’s boots camp is gearing up with innovative new ways to motivate you to shift the narrative to create the best version of yourselves, regardless of your age or when you begin this next chapter.
Pat Larsen is a licensed Zumba Dance Fitness Instructor. Modified morning classes for all abilities and ages on Mondays and Thursdays at The Shamrock House, East Durham. Pat is a certified hypno-therapist; readings and private one-on-one sessions available by appointment. Also offering guided meditation, group presentations and acupressure techniques. You can reach Pat at 518-275-8686 or Pelarsen5@aol.com.