When I wrote The Angry Quilt yesterday, I had no idea of the response it would bring. Not just the good ideas–and there were so very many of those. What moved me was the tremendous community that has gathered here.
Smart, compassionate, giving people. Self-aware people who are wandering the same road and who will offer comfort, wisdom, lessons hard learned. That’s a rare and wonderful thing, and I need to sit with the incredible wonder and gratitude is has brought to me.
What moved me so deeply was the honesty of the comments–the offers to make the Angry Quilt whole, and the offers to make me a whole new quilt. Offers to lead a team to leach out the energy and to gather stories about mothers. And the amazingly frank idea to create a ritual to burn the quilt, and end the quest for something that may never have existed.
For now, I need some time to re-evaluate my emotions about the quilt. There were good, thoughtful reasons for creating a ritual to lay the quilt (and my need to have it complete) to rest. Other reasons to make it into something else so I could keep it. And, of course, offers to finish it. As a coach, I was moved by how many of you were open and raw with me over this. Not fearful of talking about your own relationships with your mothers, or mothers worrying about your daughters. It’s complex, isn’t it, the dance of mothers and daughters?
Right now, I’m thinking through my options to reach a choice that is as honest as all of your suggestions. My deepest thanks go out to you. It’s a little overwhelming to see all of you gathered here, holding out your hands. And looking closer, seeing your hearts in those outstretched hands.
It reminds me of a quote from Brené Brown, who wrote The Gifts of Imperfection and I Thought It Was Just Me.
The root of the word courage is cor — the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage had a very different definition than it does today. Courage originally meant to speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart. . . .
Heroics are often about putting our life on the line. Courage is about putting our vulnerability on the line. If we want to live and love with our whole hearts and engage in the world from a place of worthiness, our first step is practicing the courage it takes to own our stories and tell the truth about who we are. It doesn’t get braver than that.
Thanks to all of you who showed real courage in your comments. I’m proud to stand in the company of such brave women and men.
–Quinn McDonald is refreshed and renewed by the spirit of supportive people.