I love the word, not because it means, among other things “flee quickly" from conflict, but because its other meaning is to “get away from the ordinary" and "get in touch with oneself”.
The past three weeks have been very difficult for me. When I was teaching, I always had a few weeks after summer school when I was mentally counting the days until school started again. I thought I was doing really well this summer, mentally preparing for NOT going back to the campus, but I was wrong. It hit me like a ton of brick two and a half weeks ago. Since then, there have been more days than not that I would get up in the morning, make breakfast and see my husband off to work, then lay back down “for a few minutes” only to awaken 5 hours later. Some mornings I would not even get up until nearly noon.
This is not like me – this is depression at its most insidious. It eats up my life and saps my energy. And, quite frankly, I resent it.
The good news is: I have been looking forward to this past weekend. I just returned from four days and three nights with my dearest and best artistic friends. Every year, twice a year, I look forward to Quilt Guild retreat. This time I paid for retreat right after I found out I lost my job. I knew I would need the spiritual sustenance that it gives me, and I was right. I took my jewelry to sell, and while I did not sell everything, it was worthwhile. I also bartered jewelry for a 30 minute massage from the on-site massage therapist. Yes, it was very good to go on retreat.
While I was there communing with my best gal-friends, I created two small quilt-tops that I will quilt as soon as I can get my best sewing machine repaired. (Have you ever noticed? Everything costs money!)
Saturday morning I left retreat to attend the first meeting of the Dallas Area regional group of Studio Art Quilters Association (SAQA). I met some of the local big names in art quilting and felt a bit intimidated. They were as nice as they could be so I am glad I joined. I look forward to tapping the collective resources this group has to offer.
Here are the two little art quilts I designed (but have not quilted) while on retreat. This one is Castlerigg, a Neolithic stone circle in the Lakes District of England.
And this one is of Maes-Howe and the Hills of Hoy on the island of Orkney way north of Scotland.