Keeping it in Perspective - Project 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011
I have a had bad week as far as getting anything done on my project. It mostly came down to maths.
Maths and me do not get on together. We could never have gotten married.

I was working on a new quilt design, but it just wasn't coming together and I was getting frustrated with it. I called in my husband to do the maths for me, and that worked for awhile, but it all came undone after a few hours when something else went wrong.

So I decided to make one of the other things I have in mind. Until I realised I didn't have the right supplies. There goes that idea! So I've taken a break from the sewing for this week. And I was beating myself up about it - wasted time and energy, and still not yet out of January and needing a break. Already!, and all that, until I came across this editorial by Tracy Barnett on the New Zealand Herald. And wow! It kind of hit me straight between the eyes. It really made me think. If you don't have time to read it, it's basically about the luxury and privilege of  making New Year's Resolutions.

I think one of the reasons it really hit home with me is because I have been to this place that she writes about in Burma, and the refugee camps on the Thai/Burmese border. When I was in highschool my family visited there and we got to meet with the persecuted christians and refugees of Burma's ugly regime. We saw the amputated legs and the poverty and the fear of living with the daily uncertainty of - not if - but when an attack will come.
I often think about those people. How they took us into their little wooden huts and fed us and talked with us and prayed with us. And the children we met - beautiful, pretty children who were so happy and cheerful in the face of such horror. I wonder where they are now?. Are they still there?And I think about the war wounds hospital and the pitiful amount of supplies that my mother had managed to round up from donors in the Auckland hospitals before we left. How we thought it was such a lot of good stuff to take. Until we emptied it out onto the hospital table and saw how meagre it was. How it was just a drop in a very large bucket.

And reading Tracy's article brought it all back to me again, in the midst of my frustration over fabric and maths and making something look good. And I realised again how blessed we are in the this country to have the choice to do as we wish. I had the choice to spend my afternoon cutting and sewing and measuring. And it doesn't really matter if the afternoon was wasted, because I'll have another afternoon tomorrow to do it all again - and here's the thing . . .

If. I. Want. To.

Democracy. It's beautiful. It's precious. Don't take it for granted.


Anonymous said...

Math and I do not get along either. I hate math.
What an interesting spot to go visit as a child. I can see where that would be something that would stay with you.
Good Luck with your week!

Colleen said...

What a wonderful post! Thanks for the inspiration. I'm going to go read that article now!

Cottage Tails said...


I nominated you for a blog award, to thank you for your great posts

Love Leanne

Candace said...

Beautifully written!


Cate said...

Fantastic post Rachel, and you are so right. I went on a trip to PNG years ago, and was humbled by the faith and spirit of people who by our standards, have nothing.

Kellee said...

Perspective is indeed a powerful and beautiful thing. I don't think your afternoon was wasted. :) You learned something, you tried. Effort is still progress. The journey towards the goal is often the most rewarding part. :)

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