Dixie Darr

My Literary Advent Calendar, Day Twenty-Five

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2016 at 5:19 pm

night-visions

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Story Blanket

I have an old quilt made by my Grandma Wood. Hand-stitched, with mismatched pieces in a random pattern, it isn’t pretty, made for warmth not for show. Quilts these days are works of art, intended for display. Grandma raised nine kids during the Great Depression and made do with what she had. I loved that quilt because I recognized some of the pieces as remnants from old clothes of mine.

In Night Visions, my favorite Advent book, Jan Richardson writes of a different kind of story blanket.

She wove a story, “laid it out on a blanket of paper, stitched in between the lines, decorated it with layers and strands of blue, of green, of gold. This was how it went.”

Once upon a nighttime, on visits back to the home where I grew up, I used to steal outside with a blanket, spread it out, and watch the stars as they passed through the gates of night. An oak tree kept me company,barren save for the moon it sometimes held in its branches. Together we bore quiet witness to the stars’ journeys. The tree is gone now, but a blanket will do when one is longing for home. Spread it out and turn your gaze toward the sky. And if you haven’t enough dark to see the stars, wrap the blanket about you, close your eyes, and dream yourself home.”

Much later, she needed the story for herself. She “wrapped the blanket around my own shoulders and closed my eyes until I could see all the stars in my own sky.”

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