A Gift in Each Comment

My latest quilt "Mushrooms and Butterflies"

Yesterday there was a comment on my blog written by a woman who made some  assumptions about me and my life and my work. Her words were angry and they were certainly jarring.  I mostly get  supportive comments,(there have been some inappropriate comments which I just delete)  but I know there are people out there who feel differently and I’ve wondered why I haven’t heard more from them.

So it was unexpected, but I wasn’t surprised.  As I read it my heart started to race and I thought, “here we go.”     But I think  I was  surprised by my reaction and I felt, as my yoga instructor  says, that it came because I was ready for it.  Even a couple of month ago I would have reacted differently  and a six  months ago I was actually believing some of the things she  said.

I knew right away that  I wanted to post her comment and respond to it without being defensive or combative.     But I also felt like I wanted to explore the issue more, because as I wrote in Fridays blog, this is my work and knowing myself and  communicating with my readers is a part of that.

I think mostly it has been a gift.  It has allowed me to see how I’ve  evolved.   I no longer suffer with those questions of independence and what I do and don’t deserve in life.  I’m learning to trust my work and my business to be as successful as I chose to make it.  And I’m actually doing things to make that happen, things that I was afraid to do in the past, like embracing technology, experimenting with new mediums, hiring a bookkeeper, and figuring out facebook.  Each time I face a fear I become more confident.  I’m not  even as worried as I used to be about what people think of me.      So keep the comments coming, there’s a gift in them all.

15 thoughts on “A Gift in Each Comment

  1. The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence. Janice that made the negative comment said “Some people have mortgages and college tuition to pay for their children”. How fortunate Janice is to have a mortgage. How fortunate to have children able to attend college. When I had a mortgage to pay and tuition for my children it was tough. But I always felt lucky to have such problems. Wealth to me has always been family. Most times when I am annoyed if I look in the mirror I find the one responsible for that emotion. I do not know your situation either Maria. Don’t care. Striving to find functional art I think is for the wealthy as well as the poor. Folks that started making quilts pieced scraps together because they could not afford to buy a blanket. If it helped Janice to relieve some stress writing then I hope she felt better and hugged the kids when they came home. A gift for sure.

    1. Hey Jim, For all I do have, I do sometimes feel sad that I don’t have children to put through college. It’s that green grass again.

  2. Maria, this post is clearly a measure of your personal growth. For what is life but a series of choices we make (children,mortgages,jobs, lifestyles,belief systems) with the circumstances we’re handed.If our ‘wealth’ is devoid of compassion, joy,or even conflict, then it’s an unexamined life indeed.
    Namaste.

  3. MARIA – I AM THRILLED THAT YOU HAVE FOUND HAPPINESS IN YOUR WORK AND IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP – I HAVE READ JON’S BLOG AND NOW AM READING YOURS AND IT SEEMS THAT YOU BOTH HAVE BEEN THROUGH SOME TOUGH TIMES AND HAVE PERSEVERED THROUGH THEM ALL – WHAT I CAN’T UNDERSTAND IS WHY PEOPLE FEEL THEY HAVE TO JUDGE SOMEONE WHEN THEY NEED TO JUST REJOICE AND BE HAPPY FOR YOU AND THAT YOU HAVE COME THROUGH AND ARE NOW ABLE TO FEEL THE BEAUTY OF LIFE – I DON’T THINK ANYONE AGREES WITH EVERYTHING SOMEONE SAYS OR DOES ALL THE TIME – I DON’T EVEN AGREE WITH MY HUSBAND ALL THE TIME BUT I DON’T JUDGE HIM AND TRY TO MAKE HIM FEEL BADLY FOR WHAT HE THINKS OR DOES – SO YOU ARE RIGHT – YOU HAVE RECEIVED A GIFT AND JUST ENJOY IT – KEEP UP THE GOOD HARD EARNED LIFE YOU NOW HAVE – I LOVED READING ABOUT THE DONKEYS AND THE THINGS THAT YOU AND JON ARE INVOLVED IN – THE COMMUNITY IS LUCKY TO HAVE YOU ALL THERE –

  4. It isn’t anyones buisness how much money you have. Whether it was given to you or you earned it. My impression of you is that you are hard working,honest and kind.
    Ron.

  5. You go Maria ~ although I’ve been following Jon’s writings for a few years and even have his signature in a couple of his books, I write very little in blog comments. There will always be people in this world, for whatever their reasons, can’t stand to see people being themselves, confident, successful and they will try to drag you down to their level of existence. It’s not jealousy or envy, I think it’s an illness.

    I have found that only ignoring them diffuses their efforts. Responses, calm or not, only fuels what drives them.

    I really love the names you give you quilts & potholders. So very creative and geniune. Don’t ever stop.

    Love, Teresa

  6. I thought your response was just perfect. This touched a nerve with me, in a slightly different way. Most of my friends have young children and I don’t. I hear a similar sentiment so often and it rankles: “it must be nice to have time to yourself and dress up everyday”,”it must be nice to have time/money to go out to plays/movies/shopping” ,”it must be nice to have time to be with your husband.” I guess it just makes me feel the same assumptions about how someone else’s life is (and supreme knowledge of what it should be) and the same lack of acceptance that people are free to make their own choices and priorities in life.

    For what it’s worth, I thought you had a profound point. You’re an artist and being an artist and working at it each day can’t happen in a vacuum. You need stimulation and inspiration and that has to happen in order for you to do your work. What inspires you IS your work.

    On an unrelated note, I just recently took up sewing and it’s been great reading your blog and seeing your work. You’ve been a great inspiration to me!

  7. Sometimes when people make angry comments they are really just mad at themselves or their situations. It really has nothing to do with the people they are lashing out at.

  8. Mushrooms… butterflies and britches(looks to be a corduroy skirt tho)
    salt of the earth. Might not have young’ens But I think you have alot of Family… friends who love you. A hug can felt in a Smile!

  9. HI

    Keep up the beautiful work, you are talented, honest and
    funloving…..you connect with many things, animals
    people, a gift.
    Ignore the jealous responses and we all learn a little something from
    everyone, negative and positive.

    kathleen

  10. Maria, as I read through your blog over the past few days, I am struck by one thing, you have far more supporters than detractors. Your work is inspiring and creative and I love getting a glimpse into your beautiful surroundings. I am grateful for the gift of your sharing and the perspective of those who comment here. Blessings,always…
    Terri

  11. I haven’t been here in a few days. I’m sure sorry to hear that somebody dissed you Maria. I saw something on the news tonight that made me think of you, your use of recycled materials, and the journey of discovery that you’re on about yourself.

    The piece is about Roanoke artist Ann Glover. Some of the things she said in the interview, reminded me of the things you have written about. I think about what Ann said about the kindred spirits, you’d be surprised how many there are. Your blog has attracted several, some who are artists as well.

    http://www.wdbj7.com/news/wdbj7-ann-glover-roanoke-artist-featured-in-martinsville-exhibit-20110310,0,5550526.story

    [With dial-up, I can’t look at any videos on any website.]

    I think that, well you seem to me that you are a very kind person in the way you relate to animals. I remember the type of work you did before you went full time into your quilting business. Well you know it takes a certain kindly person to do the type of work you used to do. Anyone who made crass comments about your life, and profession just doesn’t know any thing about you. Probably didn’t know that you raffled off a quilt to help people who lost everything in a fire.

  12. Maria, I think it is important to remember that life is a dynamic process…what we do, say & think today will be completely different tomorrow or next year. At this point in time, my husband & I have chosen to have children, chosen to live where we do because of our professions, good schools and family, and chosen our lifestyle because of all of these things. I fully expect all this to change in the coming years..who knows, I may find myself living in a snowy forest, dogs at my heels, cats in front of the fire and a wealth of good books with all the time to enjoy it. Or I may not…but where I am will be a result of all my choices, and is nobody else’s responsibility or business. In the meantime, I have a mortgage & 2 children to send to college! Enjoy & cherish what you have…you have surely earned it! And thank you for the potholders…!

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