Justifying One’s Life

Ok, another existential question.  Does one’s life need to be justified and if so, do we justify our existence by what we do or simply by our very being?  This past month or two have been difficult for a variety of health reasons, each relatively minor on their own, but which have combined to leave me in a state of near exhaustion at the moment.  But in spite of that, I have labored on with my quilting, which I do really, really enjoy, to make portable hug quilts (see the link at the top of this blog page if you want to view photos of them) for those in need.  And in fact, I have a request list from Vashon Youth and Family Services for 19 quilts which I know I need to get on with as winter is fast approaching.  However, the last few days since my second cataract surgery I have been particularly exhausted, and so I’ve not laid out the next group of three quilts yet.  Yesterday, in fact, I decided to warp my loom.  Back in mid-August I’d downsized my loom when the lady who’d originally owned my first loom (an 8 shaft) had seller’s regret.  Truth be known, I am primarily a quilter, especially since I have a lot of charitable outlets for my quilts, and only secondarily a weaver (I’m also very new to that art form), and the 8 shaft loom was too large for my over-crowded living room in the first place, and too overwhelming for a new weaver in the second, so I was very happy to do a swap where I let the original owner have her 8 shaft loom back and I got a smaller 4 shaft loom instead.  I even had yarn already to wound to put on the loom, pink cotton for hand towels for me, but with all my quilting, the loom still hadn’t been used over 2 months later.  All that changed yesterday when I decided I didn’t feel up to the rigors of laying out more quilts, but that I could sit quietly at my loom (named Charlotte for Charlotte’s Web) and begin warping her.  I could take my time, and no decisions were necessary, and I could just relax and enjoy the feel of the yarn, etc.

However, I still have the 19 quilt requests on my board.  Part of me worries that I’m not justifying my existence in this world since I’m not doing anything which is productive for others.  But a large part of me is just plain tired.  I suspect that as with most things, it is a matter of balance.  Taking time to nurture myself is a good thing.  Making something for myself isn’t without merit.  As long as I find a balance, as I know I shall as I recover my health, between doing for myself and doing for others, I suspect it is all ok.  So for now, instead of doing at a frantic pace, I shall when I can, just be, in this case, just be a quiet weaver.  Of course, I will still tutor my student later this morning and then teach an SAT prep class at the library tomorrow, but otherwise, I shall try to listen to my body, slow my pace, and just take time to be kind to me and hopefully regain my strength.

2 responses

  1. Hi, Daphne!I've been wondering where you've been and was hoping you hadn't suffered any complications from your cataract surgery. I don't think we have to justify our existence, but I think our lives are much more satisfying when we live with mindfulness and intention, and those things go hand-in-hand with caring enough about yourself to take care of yourself, and being generous and thoughtful enough to be compassionate and giving toward others. As you say, balance is the thing! I miss that mark a lot myself. I suppose the vast majority of us do! But at least you are aware of it, and are taking steps to achieve balance in your life once more. Good for you! :-)I love your plan, to spend some time being a quiet weaver. That's another thing you and Jo have in common; she too has a loom that she bought in Quebec, and she helped me weave a couple of rows of a rug when I last visited her. I don't know the size of her loom, but it's big! Wishing you a restful recovery – I think the change of seasons makes us more tired than usual too. Especially going from summer to fall and winter… our bodies must be telling us to hibernate! 🙂

  2. I really appreciate your perspective and yes, living with mindfulness and intention is an excellent plan. Nice to know I'm not the only weaving quilter (or quilting weaver depending on priorities). I've seen really big looms and they seem most overwhelming to me, but I love my 4 shaft Baby Wolf loom–just the right size for me. I've got her mostly warped and so tomorrow I'll get to start the actual weaving. And yes, I do think our bodies, being carbon based, are telling us to slow down at this time of year, but as a tutor, this is the time of year my schedule gets more hectic and I think that is part of my problems as I get older. Of course adding the two cataract surgeries hasn't helped either, but I'm sure it will all sort eventually. Meanwhile, I do write in my journal every day, no matter what, and the link to that is at the top of the blog page, so if you're wondering what I'm up to in diary/journal fashion, you can check things out there. Have a great evening!

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