ABOUT NANCY BURCHAM:
I like to think of myself as a “Quilter of stories; Weaver of meaning.” I like that imagery, and I’m a big fan of metaphor. Quilting takes piecing together the often-unrelated parts of our lives and making something beautiful from them. It encourages having a vision for the whole before you even start, yet allows for the creative process and “what’s available” to help steer the final result. Quilting circles used to be a popular way for women to share their hearts, losses, support, humor, remedies, childcare tips, life hacks, and gossip. It required listening and gathering information, as much as sharing and telling it. As does story-telling. I try to stitch together people, thoughts, circumstances, compassion, humor and lessons into an enjoyable read.
Weaving, too, requires an overall plan, and yet it is the individual threads that can bring a piece to life: threads of awareness, understanding, epiphanies, empathy, changes of heart. These are what hold importance to me.
I write to weave blankets that can warm you; to weave arms together in friendship. As patterns become recognizable on the loom of life, they take on deeper meaning in the context of the whole. Some become the background, solid and stable. Some become the vibrant splashes of color that animate a piece of fabric, a room, a life. Always, over time, the piece becomes a work of art. It may or may not be what we envisioned or intended, but it is unique and ours alone. A one-of-a-kind masterpiece. We can look at the finished weaving and say, “Yes, I remember choosing that thread. And this is where it broke and I cried and almost gave up. But I tied a knot and fixed it, almost good as new. And I’m glad it is there to remind me of what I overcame.” It is our creation, every step of the way. Always choosing or responding. Every “warp” is necessary to the whole, and every filler piece is tapped lovingly into place. But to get the tightest weave, the fill has to be “beaten” at every pass. The tighter the fill, the denser the life is with experience. The higher the density, the more valuable this work of art becomes.
Weaving meaning into our stories softens the blow, and makes those beatings not only understandable, but acceptable. We got what we got; we did what we did. But here is what we learned, and here’s what we are now doing with it all!
Putting my own stories into perspective — and into print — has changed my life, and hopefully sharing them will somehow change yours. I’ve been writing since I was a little girl, and have rarely shared my own work publicly. I’ve edited countless other people’s work, which is now out there for all to see, yet my own name, my own contribution, remains anonymous. Now it is my time to risk being heard. Thank you for this opportunity, and for your interest.
All the best,