Last weekend I had some free time to sew and I did something new I’ve been wanting to try for over a year. Crazy quilt blocks. I had so. much. fun. piecing those squares and choosing the stitches to embellish them with. As is usually the case when I get involved in some creative process, I relax, something in my brain clicks, and I get all kinds of ideas about all kinds of things. That word “crazy” has been on my mind ever since. It’s bandied about in a multitude of forms these days, but unlike the stunningly creative and beautiful artistry displayed in crazy quilts, most of the ways we apply the term and the things we apply it to are considerably less than flattering.
Like the stuff going on in our world. It seems to get crazier, more hateful, uglier by the minute and just when we think we’ve seen it all, when we don’t think things could possibly get any more horrible, something else happens that is, to quote Weird Al Yankovic’s spoof of Michael Jackson’s Bad album, Even Worse.
Those painful, ugly things rattle us. Frighten us. Make us doubt the sanity and question the goodness of humankind. They make us want to run and hide. Disengage. Turn our attention inward rather than reaching out, cocooning ourselves in the safety of the known and the familiar.
There are times when things are so horrible and unthinkable, when we’re so wounded that’s all we’re capable of doing. Since losing the love of my life I’ve had many of those days. And there are times when I feel like quitting; in fact, I just went through one of those. But disengaging completely is not in my DNA. Woven deep into my almost exclusively Scots, Irish and British heritage is a dogged determination. In my family, no matter what happened, you just kept going; “quit” was a four-letter word that was never used unless one was referring to smoking or nail-biting. Because of the way I’m hardwired, completely withdrawing, to me, feels like I’m bailing and letting the hateful and ugly win, and I just can’t do that.
I’m sad about all of the hateful, ugly craziness out there, scared by much of it, not sure what I personally can do about some of it, but I am absolutely not ready to give up on the world just yet. I’m thinking that now more than ever we need to reclaim that word “crazy”; to intentionally choose, each time we see or hear a negative incarnation of that term, to offer something positive back in whatever way we can.
Anything that’s crazy good. Creative, beautiful things like crazy quilts, artwork, music, well-crafted words. Being crazy in love. Random, crazy acts of kindness like deciding on a whim to pay it forward the next time you’re at Starbuck’s or Dairy Queen or wherever or making the effort to offer someone a smile or a kind word when you’re exhausted and feel like you’re dying on the inside. Doing crazy, scary things like reaching out and walking with others in their suffering and pain, holding space for the wounded and broken.
Please. Call me crazy.
I want to be crazy enough to keep trying, to keep putting one foot in front of the other even when the path is not clear.
…crazy enough to keep looking for beauty in the ashes; searching for signs of Resurrection, rebirth, and new life.
…crazy enough to hope even when things look utterly hopeless.
…crazy enough to trust, when nothing seems like a sure thing anymore.
…crazy enough to keep praying, even when I don’t always get the answers I want, when I want them.
…crazy enough to cling to the promise that the Light “shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”, and to share that Light.
…crazy enough to keep choosing to believe that Love is stronger than death; stronger than hate.
How about you? Can I call you crazy too??