Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Catching up by doubling up

As I was lying in bed this morning, waiting for my automatically timed day-light lamp to switch itself on fifteen minutes before the alarm clock is set to go off I realized why it’s been so difficult for me to make the switch from being the refugee helper in the network to ‘no more’ – at least I think I understood why.
We live in a remote town where we moved because my husband’s job, and which is a rather closed community. ‘They’ don’t really like outsiders here, and all the years we’ve been here, I have found it difficult to find like-minded people where I felt I could belong. It just wasn’t easy to make friends. With being a member of the network, I suddenly had a group which gave me that feeling, all in all, even though, of course, not everybody active in that group was exactly ‘my type’, nor would I call everybody amongst them my friends. With a bit of international flair, which I’d been craving, too. Now that feeling of belonging is gone. Of course they are still nice enough to my when they see me (but we see each other less often), and as I keep saying I haven’t taken myself out of the activities entirely, I am still somehow ‘with it’. But I am very conscious about the fact that because I changed my kind of involvement I also changed my position, and the degree of my ‘belonging’.
Sudden revelation this morning! Add to that another pubertarian eruption of my son at breakfast this morning (he’s been having them regularly now – at barely reaching eleven I fear what’s lying ahead of us in the next year!), and you may come up with the kind of morning I had... Kind of low.

But I have slowly been catching up with all the things I have been putting off for too long, and working little bits and ends to narrow down that list. A phone call here (actually at least three, because the person I needed to talk to wasn’t available whenever I called, but also not answering my e-mail), an e-mail there, and that list is not finished off yet...
The best things are those where you do something once but manage to make that fit for two of the points on the list. As when I decided that one composition I pinned for my online class with Jane Dunnewold will be turned into the next Journal Quilt with a piece of purple. This is the composition as it was pinned to my wall originally,

this is how I altered it on Jane’s suggestion that the blue strips were too much contrast, too disconnected with the rest of it all,

and this is how I am currently thinking I will pull a corner from it, stitch it all together and make it Purple Piece 2:

not a very well lighted picture, but it gives you an idea...

I am also still working on my 2016 Benefit Auction piece for SAQA – a developmental stage of which I showed last time, turned in as a homework for the Dunnewold-class as well, and which is slowly coming along. (The washers from the first picture will still be added, they just didn't fit in well now.)

Little steps of progress.
As for the sense of belonging – I’ve spent most of my time here without that feeling, perhaps I can get used to that again. But we have also decided that we are going to regularly invite a young American basketball player to our home. That might take care of a bit of international flair, without the refugee crisis component.

And I am looking forward to some quilt related international travels – a trip to France in April, to Israel in June, and to Birmingham in August. After all, I’m not entirely trapped here in this remote little place.


  1. Uta-
    I would love to hear more from someone who is involved, how the refugee resettlement is going in Germany. You are taking in a LOT of people, it must be disruptive.
    Where I live in Fargo, North Dakota, we have been resettling refugees for 35 years or more, from Viet Nam, Cambodia, Serbia, Bhutan and various African countries.
    Luckily, we have plenty of jobs here, although our climate is not what most of our "new Americans" are used to!

    1. Kim - you can write to me via my contact on the website, and then I can tell you more. I'm trying not to put too much of it on the blog as it's not supposed to be a blog about the refugees. Probably resettling people in Fargo is slightly similar to trying to resettle them there out in the country. Though Fargo is a much bigger city than where I am, which has 11,000 people over all, and not much openheartedness towards outsiders (including me, I've only lived here for just about 11 years)...

  2. thank you for being open about realising some of your motivation with the refugees. email so helps connecting people with similar headspace but yes, local connection is hard. i've also moved to a small town after years in cities.