Lesson Two - Marilyn D.

Accessing The Rebel

Going Too Far

While I was still working for a state environmental agency, a colleague and I were sitting in my office, trying to figure out an approach to break through a well-meaning but crippling bureaucratic obstacle.  We tossed out ideas, each one more creative and rebellious than the one before.  When it finally came time to decide which one to use, I found myself saying, “I don’t know about that; I don’t want to go too far.”  My colleague looked at me, laughed and said, “Marilyn.  Go too far!  Let’s go too far!” I love that!  And I’ve thought of that moment many times since.  I’ve been retired for some time now and I want to explore whether or not there is a“too far” in my quilting practice. 


Once I retired, I vowed to wake up and go to bed on my own time - no more alarm clocks as much as possible. I also promised myself that anything I did in retirement would have nothing to do with meetings, budgets, or reports, and that all my volunteer work would be direct service. They’re not exactly rebellious but those vows have helped me stick to my path for the last ten years, and have given me room to explore quilting and nurture my Rebel.  

This might be TMI, but I also started wearing light-weight black cotton knit pants and long-sleeve knit shirts to bed.  If I don’t feel like getting dressed in the morning, I put a shawl, tunic or big shirt over these pajamas and look like I’m ready for the day.  I dress for real when I feel like it, or if I need to go out of course, but if I’m going to be home all day I might just stay in my pjs all day long!   Somehow this little act of rebellion tickles me and actually helps me get right into the studio in the morning,  where I can focus on a project and not worry about embarrassing myself in front of the UPS man or other unexpected visitor.   

The Exercise

I’m going to keep working with those little squares.  As you indicated in your audio note to us, Jane, I’ve found it valuable to think about the choices I’m making and the approach I’m taking as I assemble them.  I’ve also kept repeating to myself, as you reminded us, “This is not a design exercise.  This is not a design exercise.”

I’ve been rereading Jung and Myss this week too.  Thanks for reminding us that archetypes are worth understanding and accessing.  I haven’t called on the ones that resonate with me for a long time.