The past and the future

new piece

I watch TV at night. And sometimes during the day. I admit it. Watching TV seems to be something that’s seen as a waste of time in some people’s mind. I usually stitch while I watch, sometimes I read, sometimes I look through Instagram. I try to occupy my hands. But some days, some nights, I simply watch. And escape.

I heard this a few nights back, and – thankful for the rewind button – stopped to write it down. Because it resonated and made me think.: “We cannot erase our pasts, however hard we try. Instead we must carry them with us into the future. We must carry them with us and look forward with hope. We must look forward because to look back is to waste precious time. We should live as we have never lived. And we must all of us take heed and live as we have never lived. For we are all fragile. And we all live under the shadow of death”.

Whether you agree or not is personal. For me, I know that events in the not-so-distant past keep making appearances into my present. I’m trying very hard to move on. As a matter of fact, I believe I’m doing a remarkable job, even if I say so myself. Looking towards the future can be scary if we are carrying the past on our shoulders. But little by little, shrug by shrug, we shed our past. We are never free from it, because, after all, it’s part of who we are, and without our pasts, we wouldn’t be the person we are today.

I am very proud of the person I am today. I don’t say it often. I don’t say it out loud in case someone thinks me vain. But I have to say I am. I’ve shrugged enough in the past couple of years to be able to move comfortably through life without that weight pushing me down. And I’m moving forward one step at a time. Simple steps that have taken my work in a new direction. I’ve shrugged that part of the past too, and moved on in my art. Some of that past was instrumental in changes I made that brought me to who I am today. It brought me to launch a new program I’m proud of: Create2Flourish to help quilters and artists move forward, in their work, and hopefully in their lives – as I truly believe they are intertwined. It is hard work, and sometimes I feel like giving up. Why all the effort, why all the work? Does anyone care? But for every naysayer, there’s another who gets excited every time I post a new video, or share some work, or answer a question in a live.

We deal in life. With all its small and large idiosyncrasies. Small and large problems. Small and large rewards. We deal in life, and it’s how we face it that matters. I seem to face life by walking into my studio. These days, there seems to be more time spent on the administrative part of art than in making; some days it feels like work. But every time I set foot in the studio, it’s a new opportunity to create something that didn’t exist before.

This week I set foot in my studio and created. Without a set plan, without a big idea: just a nugget of a thought, and a piece of fabric I had sent to print at Spoonflower with an image created by merging different images in Powerpoint. That’s all it’s needed: an idea and a piece of fabric. I am pleased with myself that I conquered the blocks I was having – mental in this case as I was stumped – and finished the piecing on Saturday afternoon. All that’s left is the quilting. I am walking into my studio with a spring in my step. Life is good. Life is grand. And I vow to live it as I’ve never lived it before.

Until I write again, I hope you have a good week of living life. Keep creating,


PS: If you are interested in Create2Flourish, registration will open again at the end of November. Check the link for more information. I look forward to welcoming you to the program. Share with friends!

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  1. Ah! You are wonderful Ana, and you did it! By focusing on your ‘nugget’ you created and stayed in the zone – the present! I say never mind the past and don’t worry too much about the future, these erode the soul. The only time we can really make a difference in anything is in the present – and you know this! Sending you much love, now.

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