I’ve been working on a new performance piece since the beginning of this year, a sort of companion to my show, Piecework: When We Were French, that approaches some of the same themes, but from a more personal perspective. This summer, as I’ve been thinking about how to expand this new piece into a whole, I’ve returned to one of the central images of Piecework: my great-grandmother’s quilt, which I used as a backdrop when I performed. The quilt, and sewing more generally, have become central to how I think about writing and storytelling (which is why you see a detail from that same quilt on this page). Most stories — the ones we tell ourselves and each other — begin as fragments, and it is only through the effort of sorting, piecing, and stitching them together that we come to something that resembles order, or narrative.
I was excited to find a recent essay by non-fiction writer Sarah Minor that explores this very idea, in which she says that “writing the truest version of a story is often a process of unifying disparate and sometimes contradictory materials.”
With my interest (and perhaps my faith) in this notion of a quilted story renewed, I’ve begun an online collection of material that’s contributed to the creation of the new show thus far, and to which I’ll continue to add. It’s intended to be like a sewing basket, a haphazard collection of scraps, fragments, loose threads, and incomplete ideas. I thought I’d share the link here in case you’d like to follow it or make your own suggestions based on what’s there already. Please check it out and keep in touch.