Keep Playing

Sometimes blogland seems a little competitive. Or maybe it is just me. Overly intense sometimes.  I look at the beautiful creations of others mostly to be inspired, but sometimes I am afraid I compare myself to them.

“I don’t get nearly as much done as she does.”
“Her quilts are more detailed than mine are.”
“Her work is more fashionable than mine is.”
etc…

Maybe I am the only one who feels this way.  But, maybe not.

Today at church this story was shared:

[Here is] the story of a young piano student. His mother, wishing to encourage him, “bought tickets for a performance of the great Polish pianist, Paderewski. The night of the concert arrived and the mother and son found their seats near the front of the concert hall. While the mother visited with friends, the boy slipped quietly away.

“Suddenly, it was time for the performance to begin and a single spotlight cut through the darkness of the concert hall to illuminate the grand piano on stage. Only then did the audience notice the little boy on the bench, innocently picking out ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.’

“His mother gasped, but before she could move, Paderewski appeared on stage and quickly moved to the keyboard. He whispered to the boy, ‘Don’t quit. Keep playing.’ And then, leaning over, the master reached down with his left hand and began filling in the bass part. Soon his right arm reached around the other side, encircling the child, to add a running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice held the crowd mesmerized.

“In our lives, unpolished though we may be, it is the Master who surrounds us and whispers in our ear, time and time again, ‘Don’t quit. Keep playing.’ And as we do, He augments and supplements until a work of amazing beauty is created. He is right there with all of us, telling us over and over, ‘Keep playing.’” –James E. Faust

So, thank you for visiting today. Keep playing. Your own tune. Your own way.

14 thoughts on “Keep Playing

  1. Well said! I finally finished my first quilt of 2011 and the next one is for playing! I will use only stash fabrics, some uglies, and practice some different free motion quilting, such as leaves, on this one.

  2. we are all competitive people by nature and i think especially us quilters..there is nothing wrong with that..i have also said lots of times i can do that or i can do that better..that is not a put down for them but just letting myself know that i am good at what i do..maybe not better than lots–most—others but much better than what i was when i started..so we can always strive to be better and comparing ourselves to other quilters does not make us bad..i rarely see a quilt or photo of a quilt that i don;t say it is beautiful——–but!! there is always a but—-i could do better, i could not do that good, i could not put colors together like that or i could put colors together better than that..i think that is part of the fun of quilting..

    and Debbie–i have never seen an ugly piece of fabric not improve when put in a quilt..some of the fabric i have i would love to just throw out–not even pass along to anybody else but when i use it in a quilt somehow it turns out great..so use your uglies!!!!

  3. You can look at other’s people works in two ways – you can be overwhelmed and say I will never be this good, blah blah blah, or be inspired by their beauty to do the best you can and keep on creating.

    Some people are just more productive and get more quilts finished and some just like to spend a lot of time on one quilt. It doesn’t matter – they all come out to be beautiful works of art.

    I love the story you told. Great read for a Monday morning.

  4. regarding the competitiveness of blogs … exactly so. And it adds another layer of complexity and perceived “obligation” to our lives, something none of us need.

    One of the reasons I never kept a journal/diary/notebook when I was growing up (and don’t now) is that feeling of “obligation” of writing something every doggone day. I *hate* deadlines like that. It sucks the joy out of whatever you are doing.

    Ditto with a blog. For a long time, I did not have a blog for exactly that reason. I have a website, which is a virtual scrapbook of the quilts that I made .. but the entries aren’t on any sort of schedule at all. When I get done with a quilt, whenever that is .. and when I get around to making up the page, it goes live.

    Then, I read a blog about “blogging without obligation”. Oh my! A light went off in my head. *Of course*! It’s my blog; I can write as often or as seldom … as much or as little as I please. I don’t have an online business that I’m trying to drive customers to; I’m just sharing information and quilts and stuff.

    *SO* … while I might admire *all* the quilts (and whatever) that everyone does, I no longer feel compelled to keep up. I do my best at the time I do [whatever] … and sometimes my best efforts vary in quality. That’s OK with me. I realize that just because I have oil paints, I don’t need to create a picture like Monet. And neither does anyone else. 🙂

    I continue in my sporadic, haphazard way … creating quilts, my virtual scrapbook pages and blog entries when I get around to them.

    All without a feeling of obligation. Such freedom! 🙂

  5. I love to read other blogs for crafty, quilty inspiration too, but it does inspire guilt instead sometimes. Some days, I just wanna take a nap. How do people get so much done?

  6. Lovely story! thank you for sharing it! And don’t feel that blogland is a competition- just inspiration! We do what we can, we are all different and you are probably much better in others areas of your life (that we don’t blog about) than I am!!!

  7. Well said!! I have noticed that those who feel the need to rush through the piecing and quilting to ‘beat’ what someone else has done generally has a messy looking end product. Makes me feel better about taking my time with things and doing them right! 🙂

  8. Thanks for the encouragement. I often find that some rudimentary things fail for me. For example, my last quilt was in no way rectangular. I trued it up five or six times during the process, but it still was not right. I’m always frustrated by that. On the other hand, it is a beautiful quilt, and I love it.

    I have to say that the friendly competition online has helped me. I have been finishing more, getting more ideas.

  9. How anybody could feel ordinary after such a thought provoking message is beyond me. YOU ARE amazing. Every day. THAT is from one who KNOWS. On another note. We are only in competition with ourselves. And we can be our own worst enemy. Cheers to who you are every day!!

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