La Crane Bleue.
Date: December 11, 2013
Days Spent on Project: 298
Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC
Person I would have sent it to: Encore Joyce.
Actors Theatre of Louisville, like any good regional theater that knows how to bring in money, had a bar and a restaurant connected to their performance spaces and lobby. It’s where we, as employees of the theater, would go to meet everyone after work, tech, or just to hang out. (Even in our down time, we’d be at the theater.) My first season, there was also a small cafe attached to the theater lobby; although you’d have to enter from outside the building on Main Street as there wasn’t an easy way to walk in from the theater or the offices. It sold sandwiches, coffee, and pastries.
Coffee shop, by way of regional theater.
That first season, Joyce was the person lucky enough to work behind the counter. I’m not sure how I first met her, as we wouldn’t have overlapped in our daily routines much, but she did end up playing a big part of that first year. Incredibly dry and sarcastic, I loved chatting with her, just to hear her perspective on the theater and life and Louisville.
I had convinced myself that I was broke. In fact, for a minimum 40 hour work week, I’d bring home just under $200. Somehow I made it work; I can’t for the life of you tell you how. But, a paycheck is a paycheck. I was, after all, getting paid to work in a theater.
However, I did cut corners, which unfortunately meant that I’d skip meals every once and a while. (I still do; ingrained survival skills are hard to break, no matter how bad they can seem.) Joyce, bless her heart, somehow knew that. Every once and a while, instead of throwing out the fresh sandwiches that were made for the lunch rush, she’s set aside a sandwich or two for me. She’d bring them to the costume shop. I had a free meal.
That was pretty awesome.
Sadly, the cafe didn’t last long; Joyce moved on after my first season and we fell out of touch.
Music I listened to while sewing: I’m obsessed with the McQueen runway show “Dance of the Twisted Bull” today, and also a remix of Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful.”
Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Monday night, a few people approached me at the Yale School of Drama project to ask me about this Crane Project. I post pictures of every crane in the morning on Facebook, but don’t include any other information (i.e. this blog) so I don’t believe they know the full scope and reasoning behind this undertaking.
People always want to know how I’m managing to do it (first thing in the morning, after I walk and feed the dog, of course) and what the final quilt is going to look like (no idea; I’ve got a few options to consider). People never really see to ask, “why?”
I don’t know if people just assume something as big and/or random as this project is makes perfect sense for someone like me. I don’t know if they just assume I like quilting. The reason, dedicating a 1000 Cranes to 1000 someones who’ve affected my life for 1000 days or however long it takes, never really comes up.
But, on Monday, two women did comment that I always made it look perfect. The colors are always so exciting. The patterns work together. (Thanks!) They mention this as if it’s easy, or even natural.
And I had to respond: it isn’t. It’s been a journey, for these 298 days, about making this into a daily ritual and not a daily burden. It’s something I chose to do and something I wanted to undertake, for a variety of needed personal reasons. And it’s taught me a few lessons. In the end, will this one fabric ruin the final product? If I didn’t get those two corners to match up into a perfect point, will it matter?
Of course, you always want to pair things together nicely. You want it to look good. You want to make something fun. You want it to be good, too. I want it to be the best it can be.
Like myself. And my life. And my work.
But, in the end, will this one little detail throw the end result off? Will it ruin everything?
Chances are… it won’t. The details are important, of course. How you face the day (Crane) is important.
But in the end, I’m learning that this (all of this) is really just about taking it one day at a time, one hour at a time, one Crane at a time, one piece at a time. When that day, Crane, event, date, issue, job, project, etc. is over, put it aside and move on. Get yourself ready for another one.
Because, if we’re lucky, we’ll get another one.
I didn’t say all of that to my two friends, but I tried. I didn’t mention that each Crane is a reminder that people have been a part of my life. People have wanted to be a part of my life. People have shaped me. I haven’t been alone or unwanted or cast aside. Much like these Cranes will build a fairly large (okay, really big) quilt, there have been at least 1000 people who have made a difference, good or bad, in my life.
Food for thought from the Yale School of Drama holiday party.