11/08/2009

Sunday - Great day - good conversations with a friend.











Our Shih Tzu, Princess Leia, is a good traveler. Shih Tzu's are not noisey dogs - they keep their thoughts themselves. She nestles patiently on the back seat of the van and sleeps or watches. She loves coming to the country. When we open the car she hops out and races from one edge of the yard to another bursting with energy and excitement that she's here. Ofcourse finally getting out of the car has something to do with her enthusiasm - but she does the same once inside the house. Checking things out. Making sure we brought her to the right place. Reassured, she flops down in a sunny spot and goes to sleep.

What a great day today - sunny and unseasonably warm. We talk about the weather and keep tabs on it. We rejoice in this balmy weather because we know that its going to change - it is going to get cold. But today is not the day. When our friend Ann stopped by, just off the highway from a two day drive from Paducah, Ky - we sit outside on the porch and drink tea. Enjoying it all.

Jim and I always enjoy being with Ann. We talk and talk and talk. And we pick up threads of conversations as though we had seen each other yesterday.

Today our conversation starts with Abraham Lincoln and the book Ann is sharing - a book of 55 poems about Lincoln by a Kentucky Poet Laureate, Richard Taylor. History reinterpreted as poetry and story. The words are luscious and the book feels precious in your hand. The words are printed with hand-set letter presss type on heavy, serious paper. Its illustrated with black and white wood engravings. This is a real book, an art book. You can feel it. The book was printed by Larkspur Press in Monterey, KY.

We keep talking - - about the world, ourselves, and finally about the quilt top I bought at the Rescue Mission on Saturday.

The un-quilted top is an over-long checkerboard of royal blue and white squares - with a name hand embroidered in each square - white stitching in the blue squares and blue stitching in the white squares. It has marks that suggest it was a wall hanging .

When I bought it I thought I would back it and alter the pattern for a new quilt - and I could do that - but as Ann and I talked we asked each other questions about it - such as who were these people, why were the names embroidered on the squares - was it a fundraising quilt top or a roll-call, or a memorial quilt. Then we played with ideas of how to find the answers - -- and the more we talked the more I realized I have a story in my hands.

This quilt is a prompt and it is going to tell me a atory. Stay tuned - more will be revealed.

This is one way storytellers find new stories.

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