pens or pins? that is the question...

What's one to do when the heart and hands enjoy words and fabric, the pattern of paragraphs and quilts to an equal enthusiasm? To solve my dilemma I'm writing the print that stirs me and sharing the journey of blending fabrics into quilts and wearables, the discovery of old--be it quilts or friends, and the pleasures of today. Come...have a visit with me.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Is it the rash--or the voice?

CHOICE --in the makin' ??

An ambitious afternoon in the garden brought this on. Bushes overgrown needed trimming. So, for the next three hours I trimmed, raked and gathered cut stems. The yard looked so much better. I beamed.

came this unexpected ITCH....itch, itch. I look at my watch and it is 3 a.m. I stumble out of bed, go to a distant room to check out the "itch." It seems everywhere--up and down my arms, up and down my legs. "Mercy," I think, "what did I get into?"

Morning comes and I feel confident. Surely, with all the homopath remedies in my cabinet I can manage this. I go through the shelves and select the appropriate products, double up on Vitamin C and think this rash  WILL go away. Now, three days later (post weekend of no clinics open) and two trips to the health food store plus one over-the-counter remedy, the ITCH is still with me. My arms are rash red; my thighs are a mess, my neck is beet red and I'm cold--in a 70 degree afternoon! One cream after another, one pill at a time, I hope at least one of these products will work? If not, first thing, in the a.m., to the doctor I will go. In the meantime....

I had written this week's blog (in my mind). How appropriate to match my thoughts to my ailment! The "itch" (so physically and emotionally consuming) and the "voice" (the consuming personality of our writing) join our personality, be it a written short story or our daily interactions.

First, the voice of a story.  Voice is a word that has become popular in writing circles. Countless classes are offered toward developing our voice.  Simply put, the writer's world advises strength becomes our characters when they  portray a voice (tone) that is recognized --the story has a consistent "attitude." As Tom Wolfe put it, the voice should not be "beige."  In writing every story has a voice; every story needs a personality.

And the voice of our personality is recognized by others, truly, as our daily "itch." Another well known writer, Norman Sims points out "Voice that admits of self can be a great gift." In other words, it is worth a conscious effort to awaken to our sounds, listen to our language-- literally not only "what we say" but "how we say it,"and be honest in our tone.  A wonderful example I read referred to parents using the same comment, seeking totally different results. "That was smart." or "That was smart?" Obviously, we get it!  And today the voice of my itch is loud; it is consistent and it is repetitive--3 days and running. I get it!

From morning to evening, our voice  is our interaction to our daily walk. The personality voice is influenced by what we experience (or experienced), what we see and read (or don't). We awaken ourselves to listen to our own language and the properties we choose to portray. Our daily tone is hemmed by each life experience, how we see that experience amid the feathers of our being--what has grown in our being, in our value and belief system, one feather, one day and one year at a time. The voice we project is not only our belief, but often, our passion.

We've all known people that had it far better (or worse) than ourselves. Their perception of the shoes they wear often provides a big lesson for us--to be accepting or resentful, to be accommodating or obnoxious, in every circumstance we hear their  voice. And less we forget, decibel volume changes our voice perception at different times in our life--diapers and potty training mean much more to a mom of toddlers than a teenager that has yet to experience the mom role; the SAT means more to the high school junior than to the toddler mom--and so it goes. (My itch is stronger to my voice than yours.)

I loved one authors thoughts about voice. He said think of "your voice" as your song.--the lines on our faces we've earned, the crook of our nose or our teeth we've earned, the stance of our body we've earned. Each frames the voice we speak. Natalie Goldberg said it well when she said  "say a holy "yes" to the real things of our life, as they exist."--speak our voice boldly. And remember, "...never underestimate people. They so desire the cut of truth." (our voice)

Thankfully, the daily voice is the method of our drive, the energy of our walk and the smile of our heart. Each day of voice is a day of choice.

I had chosen "voice" for this week's blog and had no idea "itch" was the sound I would hear. But I heard consistent and  repetitive--my voice. It made me think. And your voice?" Is it awake to full volume?

Enjoy and share your voice,


a blessed read: Deuteronomy 30:20 Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His VOICE, and hold fast to him.

a great book: Natalie Goldberg's best seller,
Writing Down the Bones. If you seek a writer's voice, read one of Natalie's books--you won't put it down until it is finished.


  1. Hope you are better, dear friend! And how grateful I am to hear your voice...i've missed it!

  2. Loud and strong your voice comes through, dear friend. Your voice has scratched my "itch" and I am forever thankful!

  3. Alice,
    I did not know you have a blog!!! My first blog made for our out-of town family uses this same format and colors!!! Here is the address for my third blog where I write about my experiences with God.