They say that inspiration is like inhaling the memory of something you have never done. That saying feels so magical to me…I remember times of blissful inspiration where I forgot to make dinner, pick children up after ballet or swimming lessons..Forgot to eat or sleep while riding on waves of creativity exploration. I believe inspiration comes from seeing differently…simply letting the air and light into my world or my thinking — it makes a difference!

What stimulated this reflection and appreciation was cutting down my five Camellia bushes some time back which formed a hedge at one end of the huge front porch of my B&B Quilting Retreat Center. Don’t worry they were simply “significantly” cut back, not eliminated! However, I apply everything I experience in life as some aspect of my quilting. Removing the wall of Camellia branches from one end of the porch became a metaphor for removing a project from “the project wall,” in my sewing area and putting it away. I love my Camellias and I love this particular quilt – but a standstill had evolved for both. The bushes,  trees actually, had become ‘not-as-beautiful’ from inside on the porch where I spend my time, and the quilt had begun to dominate the sewing room every time I entered (or even thought of entering) to try and move on with a different project. Both the camellias and this particular, “in progress” quilt top needed to take up less space – give me space and a new view!

As for the Camellias, I actually had them cut down to 6 feet from about 13 feet! The Camellia bushes bloom in the winter and are a delight, but lately I had begun to realize (which means to see  with ‘real eyes’ and not ‘real lies’) that they were too big, they blocked all the sun, my view of the entire gorgeous side yard/gardens,  and all I could actually see were stems! The quilt too had gotten too big for the wall, taking up too much mental space as well. Yet with both I felt stuck and wedded to the depth of admiration and love I also felt for them. My new thought is that my Camellias will bush out in a few weeks and bring amazing flowering gifts this winter. I also imagine that they will thank me for their new weight loss and fashionable clothes (leaves)! The quilt is also already thanking me for giving it a rest…and waiting until I am once again thrilled to bring it forward – as I have been miserable in my recent attempts to “finish it.” It does not need a forced birth, it needs the time it needs in my head, heart, and hands – with joy and love. My zest will renew itself just as the leaves and blossoms..

As for the porch, well…sunshine and birds are everywhere.  Numerous birds have darted through the front porch, right over my shoulder as I write this, quite thrilling! Also, cobwebs, pollen, and grime are more visible; I am specifically talking about having more light in my life and seeing differently because of that…there is great, good work to do to bring this space to more and more life.

As for the quilt room, the wall seems to sing of possibilities! I don’t even want to put anything else up just now and I have at least 79 projects that need to go up and get attention! I want the wall to “beg me” a little longer. I want to tease it with the possibilities…teasing myself as well.  I am reminded of a time in my youthful and playful days when I selected and held up lovely lingerie in front of my husband and said, hmm maybe I’ll wear this? Then saying, maybe not – and flinging it on the bed while selecting another possibility. That is how playful and excited I now feel toward this empty wall!  I also feel in control – I get to imagine the possibilities. How exquisite to playfully imagine which project I will give my time and attention to. It feels powerful and renewing and delicious and creative. I feel light – I might just leave the porch and enter my sewing room with this feeling so I can take flight around the room.

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