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Blue Sky

Sleeping Under Four Stories, Four Quilts: Everyday Magic, Day 198

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

The next quilt — squares connected to squares, and some squares divided into Brady Bunch type squares — was made by our cousin Janet with great help from Woody, when he was obviously still alive, and their church in San Diego, then mailed to Diane and Sheldon in Lawrence (now San Francisco) so that they could arrange for various friends from the Jewish center to tie knots in it and make wishes for my total recovery from cancer. Finally, members of my family tied knots and made wishes as they gave me the quilt.

The quilt beneath that was one I hand-sewed, my first quilt, in 1996, in between nursing Forest and settling into this house we designed and help build. Triangles and diamonds in purple, rose and green, this quilt helped bring me home. It also holds the memory of listening to many Native American performers and writers — Sherman Alexie, R. Carlos Nakai and others — as I sat in audiences, sewing. I was a faculty member at Haskell Indian Nations University, where I was honored to be a witness to the lives of my students, who came from over 100 tribes.

The bottom quilt, with its red gingham and snappy little sailboats, was created by Ken’s great-grandmother when he was a boy out of scraps, simplicity and imagination. She made quilts for all her grandchildren, each inch of inch hand-sewn with great care and precision.

We sleep under these four stories forged by friends, family, community and ourselves, and in that sleep, we dream deep in gratitude and amazement.

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