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  • Writer's pictureThomas Lawrence Toscano

What's In A Quilt?

It's seems like a simple question doesn't it? And, at the outset, one can give a simple one word answer. Any number of them right? Life, Love, Dreams, Inspiration, Creativity, Hard Work, Time - I'm sure you have your own ideas. Life, we all have these enormous ideas and connections with this word, but, for this moment would you take a suggestion? Life = Time. From a physical standpoint our lives are finite, our 'time' is limited. I've often thought that the phrase don't waste my time should be changed to don't waste my life. For indeed, time runs through our lives, ever constant, ever ticking and it's what we do with that time that defines us.

So now, let's go back and consider this quilt.

Look at it! Ponder it. Allow it's colors, it's vibrations, it's presence to effect you. It certainly has effected me.

You see, I received this quilt as a gift from the outstanding artist Maria Wulf. I had just met her through her husband, Jon Katz. Maria, as Jon, were guests on my show Bennington Today and Maria was also a guest on The Listening Shires Arts Magazine. Jon and I had started to create Talking To Animals and I had to move out of the house where I had been living for the past 4 years. As the move became eminent, Jon suggested that he and Maria would help me by being part of the crew and they did. Maria was as close as I ever came to witnessing a whirling dervish! I've never seen anyone move so far or so much! And, as if that wasn't enough - one Wednesday around 12:20 or so here comes Red and Jon and he hands me the quilt with a silent chuckle and says ..."Maria sent this". And, that was that.

As the afternoon turned into night, which was completed around 4:45pm, I set up my make shift bed on the couch with various layers and a pillow all topped by Maria's quilt. Some days it was on the steamship side, sometimes on the magic square side ( that's what I call it). Every evening and the following morning, the quilt was there and continued even after I moved again, 6 months later. For the second move I put most of what I have in various storage situations and rented a cabin on a farm for 2 months. Just enough time for me to heal from hip replacement surgery on my left hip and to find another place to live in a house built in 1807 where I am currently awaiting my next hip surgery on the other side.

After all three moves there it was - the quilt - in fact, I'm sitting on it now. Don't get me wrong - I have many a blanket and fact I have so many that I used most of them to fashion a floor bed when I lived on Silver St. so, options have not been the issue.

There was just something sincerely welcoming about it.

The quilt was there for me through the winter and spring, through some very amazing nights where my imagination caught fire and my sense of expansiveness took me through hopes and dreams which at the time seemed like a possibility but now, not so much. And I know that no matter what the future will bring this quilt will be here. Whispering its subtle energy each night, morning, hour, minute, second - throughout my life as it is today.

There is a magic that is to be found in this quilt, perhaps some of you have already sensed that. It's not surprising when you consider its creator - Ms. Wulf - her work can be seen on and you'll see that there's much more to this artist than a cursory glance may reveal. I am quite grateful for the quilt. Not the largest, nor the warmest, nor the most familiar, but, certainly the most enchanted of the items that I have in my bedding collection.

This collection of thread, cloth, colors and images gave me a consistent sense of home even with 3 new abodes in the last 7 months and I may, quite possibly, move again. Time will tell. Many of you know that It can be hard to find the home within transient periods of one's life. This gift turned out to be a daily companion while it's character evoked home each time I beheld it, or pulled it over me or woke up to it.

So, let's recap - what's in a quilt? Well, in my case, magic, possibilities, creation and more, on the microscopic level lets add in traces of dogs, cats, sheep, donkeys, chickens and who knows what other animal essences (wow that took a long breath to say).

OK - one word - Life.

Thank you Maria for all that you do, thank you animals and thank you readers for being here.

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Joseph M Russo
Joseph M Russo

And thank you Thomas for your profound insights and positive descriptions of Life! Joe

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