Saturday, February 1, 2014

How long did it take? by Astrid Hilger Bennett

It took a life.
It took pain and elation, sorrow and joyousness.
It took death, it took birth.
(It's about expression, you know.)
It took war and fear and dread and cancer.
I took the loss of a parent in great pain.
It took trust. And regret.
It took eroticism unbound.
It took intoxication of scent, of lilacs, of the softness of rose petals.
And that was just the painting part...

It took sewing that herringbone wool suit in seventh grade.
It took the isolation of being a student in an art-starved high school.
It took many needle pricks.
It took delay, learning to life-flex.
Cradling feverish faces instead of paintbrushes.

It took crystalline stillness on a moonlit January night.
It took the experience of seeing true red, of an autumn that might have been missed.
It took the profound experience of my mother's favorite National Geographic yellow following her passing.
It took Shostakovich. And Bach.
And Miles Davis and Etta James.
It took children squealing in sprinklers and clutching bloody knees.
It took depressing realism.
It took mortification and embarrassment.
It took solitude and silences.
And sometimes, lonesomeness.

It took pursuit without reward. And truth.
It took years of study.
It took a supportive spouse and friends.
It took threads getting caught in the sewing chair casters.
It took packages of broken needles.
And bandaids.
It took a cat or two, come and gone.
It took yoga to insure being able to work on the floor.
It took the struggles of all those forebears.

You see, it's not just a blanket.
It's a piece of life.

By Astrid Hilger Bennett


  1. Oh my goodness--your quilt is beautiful! LOVE the texture from the quilting. Great words to put to it today too.:)

  2. Yes!!!!

    There is sooo much of our lives stitched into our quilts.

    A beautiful quilt. I especially love the back with the flying geese. A wonderful texture created by the quilting.

  3. What a wonderful combination of written and visual art!!

  4. What a beautiful post, Maureen. Thanks!

  5. an outstanding post~!!
    love your quilt, both front and back and reading the poem is like finding suddenly illuminated memories in my own head . . .


  6. Wonderful words and a wonderful quilt.

  7. Maureen that is amazing and I understood and felt it.

  8. Wanted to add that the quilt is great too but the screen froze.

  9. Boy oh boy... ain't that the truth! Thanks for sharing!

  10. I know what you mean...:0) love your quilt and to read about it all...makes it even more's love! /0)

  11. what a powerful poem! I love your quilt, the quilting and the backing!

  12. Amazing - both the poem and your quilt! I really need to share this poem with some of my non-quilting friends. Thanks for sharing! Its finally raining here in Cali - hope all is going well with you!

  13. Hello everyone, interesting to read my poem here- must be deep in my blog somewhere because I don't have it front and center on my website anymore! Thanks for the attribution, and best of times to all of you while doing your creative work.
    Astrid Hilger Bennett

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