Beginning a dialogue…

Why are you reading this?

You are likely reading this because you are a Facebook friend, a Twitter follower, or a colleague or friend. It’s also possible that you have read some of my op-ed articles, or book reviews and would like to see what I will write in a regular column.

Why am I writing this?

The intriguing aspect of a blog is the possibility for dialogue that is created and I would like to explore how this might stimulate the development of new ideas. For many years, the Utne Reader promoted the idea of a salon. This always appealed to me and I hope that a salon might develop here.

In order to stimulate the conversation, I intend to experiment with writing some opinion pieces, some letters, some book reviews and some regular essays. I read more than is reasonable and have a crafting habit that has led me to knitting and quilting in the last few years and I will likely pull those experiences into this dialogue because my quilts and knitting have always been very public, while most of my writing has been journaling and private.

Public versus Private

And, no, this is not a post about medicine. Most of the quilts I have made have been intended as gifts or for auctions for my favourite charities. I am very proud of the fact that my quilts have raised thousands of dollars for good causes. I have posted photos of the quilts I have made on Facebook and, as soon as I can figure out how to do it, I will post them onto this site. My quilts are public. I make nice quilts and I am confident that others will find them beautiful. I do find it curious that I never made a full-sized quilt for myself. Why would that be? The psychiatrist inside me cannot help but ask that question.

My knitting has also been very public. I knit a great deal as a younger woman but then did not knit for ten years until March 2011. Last year in March, I was organizing a new sewing room and, as I was sorting through my yarn, I decided to knit a lace scarf. It did not matter that I had never knit lace or a scarf before. That scarf started something: in fourteen months I have knit twenty scarves, several pair of socks and felted mittens. Again, most of these items were given as gifts. I did knit one pair of socks for myself but I have never worn them. Again, the psychiatrist asks, “Why would that be?”

Writing for me has been different than scarves and quilts. I have written for many years. I have journals from when I was very young: good spelling but clumsy penmanship. It is very enlightening to read through twenty, thirty and forty year old journals; to have one’s recollection sharpened by something written in the rawest emotion of the moment. Writing is something I have “enjoyed in secret”, as Madeleine L’Engle said, although I have always written a few things, like book reviews, for public consumption. As I begin to put regular writing out in public in this space, I hope I can be as pleased with it as I have been with quilting and knitting.

2 thoughts on “Beginning a dialogue…

  1. Dear Dr. Gail Beck:
    I am eternally grateful to you for the excellent counselling that you provided to my daughter, Tanah Haney, back in the 1980s. I just came across your blog and enjoyed reading all your entries. Thank you so much………………….. Richard, (613) 234-5678

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