Hi. No apologies about not blogging much lately, because I realize that’s annoying. But just FYI, I am writing my thesis proposal so posts might be scarce over the next few days/week. Don’t loose faith!
So last time I wrote about detachment. On a related note, I want to talk real quick about simplicity. I do believe that Christians are called to a life of simplicity. To live in solidarity with the poor, like Oscar Romero did.
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Matthew 19:21
On the other hand, I don’t believe that simple living requires austerity. It does not need to be an aesthetic way of life. There is moderation.
Give me neither riches nor poverty, but let me be fed with the food that is needful for me. Proverbs 30:8
I know I’ve been talking a lot about trying to resist materialism lately (see here and here). But today I’m just going to embrace it and tell you about one of my favorite things. I think part of simple living is not just taking material objects for granted, but appreciating what you do have, and cutting the stuff that you could do without.
I bought this quilt when I lived in Spokane doing JVC. Back then, I made $80 a month (plus money for room and board, though that wasn’t much either). This quilt cost me $25, over a week’s salary essentially. But it was worth it.
I wanted to have a souvenir of the experience (little then did I know I’d get to keep my then-boyfriend now-husband as a souvenir). At the time, I was working for Catholic Charities Spokane, one of the largest charities that side of the state. One month in the newsletter I saw an ad for the Quilting Ladies of Spokane.
These ladies have been sewing for 100 years. (I think some of them have literally been sewing for a 100 years). They don’t buy any of the material; a good amount of it is repurposed. For example, the backing on my quilt looks to be a bed sheet, not muslin. The liner is apparently reused liners from old electric blankets that no longer work. All of the quilts are just simple block quilts, and they range in size from twin to king. The twin ones go for $15 and the largest for $35. All of the proceeds go to Catholic Charities Spokane.
They only sell these quilts on Thursday, the day they set up in the basement of the Chancery to whirl away on those machines. I worked every Thursday, but one day during my lunch I biked furiously downtown to stop by, spend 10 minutes picking out a quilt, and bike furiously back.
It’s quite a site to see. There are piles and piles and piles of fabric squares, all arranged by color. In every room in the basement, there are women hunched over sewing machines. The operation is nothing fancy. Big cardboard boxes were full of the finished projects, with “Twin,” “Full,” “Queen” scribbled on the side in marker. I picked out the one I liked the best, hopped back on my bike, shoved a peanut butter sandwich in my mouth, and was back to work.
I love this quilt. I love the bright and sunny patterns. I love the kind of funky patterns, like the leopard print.
I wrapped up in this quilt during the cold winter months in Spokane. Its sunniness brightened up my basement room during my second year. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s special to me all the same.
What’s one of your favorite objects?