October 10, 2018, Hurricaine Michael made landfall in the Florida panhandle as a Catagory 5 storm, the third most intense Atlantic hurricaine to make landfall in the contiguous United States.
The damage was catastrophic. My parents survived by escaping to an understair closet as the back wall of their home blew in. Every single person I know living in the area has a similar story. No one is unscathed, and the recovery has only scratched the surface.
It was only recently that I realized a number of my quilts were damaged. I was shocked that they still existed, but more importantly, they are insignificant in the larger scale of destruction and need in the community. Nevertheless, the quilts were returned to me, somewhat worse for wear.
My initial reaction was to put them aside, refusing to be distressed by something trivial compared to other losses. But gradually I looked, studied, and came to appreciate the change. I have extending the water affects in some, and left others as they came back to me.
We are all transformed and shaped by experience. Birth and death, love and loss, disaster and community, as well as something as simple as conversation over dinner must inevitably inform us and our art. These pieces are richer for me as a result of their transformation.