Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Clear as Mud

As a long-time member of SAQA's Visioning Project*, I enjoy reading my colleagues' posts, especially at year-end, when many are reviewing the past year and planning for the next.  Such clarity of mind there seems to be!

This year though, for the first time in my life many years, I'm prepared to admit I lack a strong vision for the coming year.  I long ago tossed away my 'word' for 2014 .  Though it continued to follow me around, riding along in the back of my brain like an ear-worm, I realized that while I "finished" many things this past year, those "things" weren't the "things" I'd intended to "finish" at the get-go.  I'm finished with "Finish"!

And I have nothing with which to replace it as a beacon for 2015.

Does this mean I plan to lie around all year and eat bonbons?


There are a few things I'd like to do/accomplish, to wit:

  • Successfully complete Elizabeth Barton's Master Class.  By 'successfully' I mean:
    • Go into each monthly theme/assignment with a positive, enthusiastic attitude;
    • Face my fears and work at the work anyway;
    • Finish (there's that word again!) the assignments to the best of my ability and in a timely manner.
    • Obtain meaningful and positive critique of my work and progress.
    • Complete the year with a few actual pieces -- in addition to a multitude of samples.
  • Enjoy my up-coming holiday to Cuba with a dear friend from university days;
  • Enjoy my trip to the SAQA Fiberlandia Conference in Portland, Oregon at the end of April;
  • Enjoy sharing Section 'F' of the SAQA 25th Anniversary Trunk Show at guilds around Alberta and at Quilt Canada in Lethbridge, AB, in June;
  • Complete my second year (of the two-year term) as SAQA Western Canada Co-Rep and 'retire' gracefully at the end of November, having made some small in-roads in the challenges of communication across a vast region, and of public education about art quilts;
  • Do all of this only under the shelter of the Creator's wings...because I've learned that coming out from under that protection leads to falling flat on my face!
And so I close this year-end post with wishes to all of you, Gentle Readers, for a healthy, happy and creative New Year...and with this small prayer for the journey into 2015:

From the late Thomas Merton:
"My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone."
Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O.
Jan. 31, 1915 - Dec. 10, 1968

*Note: while non-members can view posts to the VP, one needs to be a member to post a comment.  :-)


Jenny K. Lyon said...

Margaret that sounds like a wonderful year ahead! The Elizabeth Barton class will be well worth the time. Perhaps without a Big Goal in mind you will be open to an unexpected opportunity. He will watch over you and bless your work no matter what you do.

elle said...

Oh boy! I need to put that prayer on my mirror! Last year was an incomplete grade for me. This coming year I don't so much have a word but a mandate. :O Elizabeth's classes tempt me but not this year as I need to refocus and get going. The race is not to the swift so we have every chance. Bless you! We have much to look forward to! :)

Kathie Briggs said...

Margaret, thank you so much for the gift of the prayer from Thomas Merton. It resounded with me in a way that nothing else has since Bill died. I copied it into my journal, on the front page (where I had already copied a prayer from St. Therese) so I can see it & pray it each morning.

I hope you will be sharing your experiences in Elizabeth Barton's Master Class. I would love to take it someday but, as you know, now is not a good time for me.

I will start to work on my own rather vague goals for 2015. I really do need some kind of plan. Thanks for inspiring me to do so.

Judy Warner said...

Sounds like you are set up for adventure. I awoke to 2015 to discover that my bedside clock stopped. How about that for an omen! I am still pondering the significance. Have a great year exploring!

California Fiber artist and composer said...

Margaret---What wonderful sentiments you have expressed. I hope that your class with Elizabeth Barton is all that you hope for, and more. I look forward to seeing your journey on her blog. It is fine to let the word or motto for the year find you. May you have a very blessed, happy year,