Block 40: March 29, 2013


I’ve officially been on this project for the same amount of time that Noah was on that Ark of his…

Date: March 29, 2013

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: I’m breaking my Elementary School Dedications for a moment.

I went to a Jesuit high school in Indianapolis instead of the local public high school that was in my local town. In the end, it was probably one of the best things my parents could have insisted on; if I had stayed in the Brownsburg school system, I’m not sure I’d be here (in New York, in Theater, and to be blunt… HERE here as well).

Before you think that I had a serious Catholic-tinged four years in high school, it wasn’t like that. It was co-ed, we didn’t wear uniforms (although certain days were mandatory “dress-up” days for school-wide convocations and so on), the teachers weren’t priests. Its motto was “Men and women for others,” and encouraged volunteering in the community, had a daily schedule more akin to a college’s, and they strove for academic achievement.

I feel like I blossomed there. Looking back, I was never going to blossom in Brownsburg.

Anyway, one of the priests, Father Bischoff, led one of the first convocations of my Freshman year. I don’t remember much about him, what the “convo” was about, or what his speech dealt with. The only thing I do remember, and I remember it quite clearly, is his statement: “You are all gifts.”

In the context of the speech, he was telling us- some 600 teenagers from the ages of 14-18- that we were given to the world and that what we brought to the world was special.

I think it’s important to remember that we are all gifts; that inside us there is something unique that contributes to the world, that inside us we have something to share, that we should be proud of what we contain.


Music I listened to while sewing: Peggy Lee. Especially “Is That All There Is?” What’s great about the song is that- despite the disconnect the singer feels towards things like possessions, love, experience- she celebrates it. Rather than want a way out, she’d rather have a drink and go dancing.

Such a fantastic song.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to take a moment and say that I feel I may have gotten off-track with this project.

In the end, I am not undertaking The A Thousand Quilted Cranes Project because I desire a rather large and unwieldy quilt. I don’t need the practice sewing. I’m not looking to make a product to sell. I enjoy the positive feedback that I’ve been getting. The support has been nice. I want to thank you for following along, and I hope you keep following this for the (let’s be honest) YEARS that I expect this project to last.

In the end, I am undertaking this project as a way to focus on myself. Yes, in a way this project is extremely selfish. I’m trying to use this time as a way to reflect on where I am in life, who I am, how I got here, and what I am.

I am not perfect. I am not without flaw(s).

But I am, as I have to believe, a gift. And because I am a gift, I need to treasure myself.

And there are times where I don’t. Like many of us, there are parts of my day-to-day life that I don’t enjoy or I feel ashamed of or that I’d like to change. Sometimes, instead of treating myself well, I do the exact opposite. And those harms that I allow to happen don’t need to happen. I can swing the direction of my actions around. I can be active in the path I take in life. I don’t have to hide from the world or feel embarrassed about the “gift” that I am. I certainly should not try to damage this gift.

So, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining me on this project so far. Forty days have passed; there have been ups and downs, and there will be a plateaus along the way. But, in the next 960 days, let’s keep moving forward. Let’s work toward something. Let’s remember that we are a part of the world.

One day at a time. And then the next.

You’re all gifts.

Thank you.

2 thoughts on “Block 40: March 29, 2013

  1. I was a fellow alumnus of that Jesuit high school in Indianapolis–not in your grade, but we were there at the same time and I knew who you were. In fact, a number of my friends at the time came from your class and are people I remain in contact with today.

    I stumbled upon your blog completely by accident, but I’m loving your quilt block entries, especially their dedications, and learning more about some people whom I’ve not seen for nearly twenty years. Loved your memories of Fr. Bischoff. I was at that same convo, and like you, the one thing I still remember to this day was that same declaration, that we were all gifts. He was always quick to welcome any of his “saints” when we’d drop by his office just to say hello, and wouldn’t you know it, every student at that school, no matter what we had done, or what grades we made, or how many JUGs we’d accumulated: every last one of us was one of his saints. Not every school got a Father Bischoff, we were just one of the lucky ones.

    I’m glad you’re in New York, still pursuing your dream (I remember seeing you as Jesus in Godspell and thinking, “That guy’s going places.”) Thanks for reviving some great memories via this blog. 🙂

    • Thanks for reaching out! Going to BJPS really was a needed turning point in my teenage years, and some of the educators there really did shape who I was becoming. I think it was a great place and school to attend (and I assume it still is). Honestly, that Godspell was also a big turning point for me, and I feel very lucky that one experience sent me down the path I’m now on. Thanks for the kind words and hopefully things are well with you, too.

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