Nancy Kirk, of the Kirk Collection, is a good and treasured friend. She wrote the foreward to my new book CRAZY QUILTS (which you can see on the Brickworks website, http://www.cindybrick.com/ ). I've admired Nan for more than a decade; she is a terrific appraiser and quilt restorer. I share many interests with her, including our love of writing and quilt history.
Nan is the force behind the best Crazy quilt gathering in the world -- the Crazy Quilt Society retreat, held July 11-13 in Omaha, NE. You can find out more about it here:
I'm headed there in July, not only to teach with with some sterling colleagues, but to participate in the auction, the get-togethers, and the unbridled zaniness of the Prom Dress Swap. Don't miss it, if you're a Crazy-lover, too!
And don't miss the Kirk Collection, purveyor of great books (including e-books) and videos on quilt history and restoration -- as well as Nancy's newest book, coming in March: THE BIG LITTLE BOOK OF THANK YOU NOTES . Stop by at http://www.kirkcollection.com/
Why am I bringing Nancy up? Because every Monday, she writes a thoughtful essay on what she notices in the world. I've enjoyed these 'Monday Minutes,' and you can, too -- just sign up at the Kirk Collection site.
This week's Monday Minute (the March 17 version) seemed especially good:
GOOD IDEAS, GOOD QUOTES, GOOD PEOPLE
I keep three special files in my filing cabinet, to capture those special ideas and names that I want to be able to retrieve in the future. Not everything fits neatly into my basic alphabetical filing system. Sometimes, I just need a place to put things that don't quite fit. If I get a good idea, or hear a good idea, it could be lost forever if I tried to file it by subject - because if I don't need the idea right away, it's easy for me to forget it. If I put it under "Saving Time on the Computer" I'm unlikely to ever search all the way to the S section to find it a few months from now.
But if I put it in my "Good Ideas" folder, I have one central place for all those ideas that float by quickly and could be gone forever if I don't write it down and then remember where I put it. I don't always check the folder on a regular basis - I have many more good ideas than I can ever put to use, but if I am trying to make a major decision or a change in my life, I can go to my Good Ideas folder and see if any of my past good ideas are better than my current good idea. It's a quick way to judge the relative merits of my latest burst of inspiration.
I also keep a "Good Quotes" folder. I don't use it to replace Bartlett's Famous Quotations. I don't write down every well-spoken phrase I hear. But sometimes - maybe five or six times a year, I hear something extraordinary that I want to be sure I can find again in the future. I write it on a piece of paper, hopefully with the source, and drop it into my Good Quotes folder. My criteria is that the quote has to be inspiring, life changing or one that changes the way I think about the world. I don't go back and review these great quotes very often, but if I find myself in a time of doubt or circling the edge of depression, it's a fine non-pharmaceutical antidote.
My last special folder is "Good People". Sometimes you meet someone, way outside your circle of acquaintance or influence, but who impresses you for some reason. Sometimes I meet someone without ever laying eyes on them - on the internet, in a book, on television. They don't know me, obviously, but I'm aware of their presence on earth and I want to be able to find them again at some time in the future.
Sometimes I want to remember a person because they might be a perfect fit for a job in my field in the future and I want to be able to find them again. Sometimes I want to be able to consult with someone in the future. Sometimes I'm hoping this could be a friendship down the road. Sometimes I just want to be aware that this person is making a difference in the world because they inspire me to do better and try harder.
I often hear people complaining about how their newspapers, television news and internet portals are filled with negative news. First of all, it's important to remember that we call it news because it is not ordinary life. Most of us were not in car accidents today, most were not affected by a shooting, most of us did not commit crimes today.
On the other hand, most would probably not read a front page headline that said something like "Bob Smith went to work on time today, came home to his wife and did not hit his kids." But there are times when we aren't reading the headlines. We are living the everyday lives that don't make headlines, and they are highlighted by good ideas, good quotes and good people.
Try making three folders and keep track of them. Then sometime later - maybe at year's end, pull them out and delight yourself.
This is Nancy Kirk with your Monday Minute.
Thanks, Nan. See you in July!