Slowly but Surely

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I've been moving slowly lately, sort of mildly melancholy, even before the news of the terrorist attack in Manchester last night, which is just shattering my heart every time I think of it. A lot of people I know have been cleaning lately — straightening and organizing and dusting and fussing with the little things, and I have been the same, apparently trying to bring order to a world that feels so disordered and disorienting. I dusted off all of my earrings and twenty-year-old perfume bottles, got new low-light houseplants and some new pots, a little chair, moved the pictures. Moved them again. Sat in the chair and did nothing but sit for a minute. I'm trying to make a safe spot. I hold my daughter close under the galloping blades of the big ceiling fan — it was 90 degrees yesterday at bedtime, and we laid on top of the clean white sheets in the dim room, shades pulled against the evening sun and the world outside, talking about baby chicks and rising moons and silly songs and swimming lessons. It was almost too much to bear, her restless feet and her soft arms and her butterfly kisses and my weary heart, all jumbled and wilted from the heat and the news, and my throat felt so raw and sad I could not speak, so whispered. My heart and thoughts and prayers go out to all of the victims and their families and the first-responders of Manchester.

I wish you all peace. I wish you everything peaceful and soft today. XO, a

67 comments

Katie Morene says: May 24, 2017 at 10:54 AM

This was in my Inbox yesterday from Brave Girls Club. It's spot on and calmed my heart and spirit. We do have HOPE and LOVE and so many other good things.

Dear beloved girl….

There are a lot of scary, awful things happening in the world every day.

We all ask, “WHAT CAN WE DO?” when challenging things happen.
Well, one of the first things is to remind ourselves that there are beautiful, good and amazing people and things happening in the world, too. Look for them…they are there.

What’s more, we can CHOOSE to be beautiful people…that’s another thing we can do. We can keep being good to each other, we can keep creating more beauty and loving bigger and making life easier for those within our circle of influence. We can and must stand up and say THIS WILL NOT STOP ME! THIS WILL NOT KEEP ME FROM SHINING LIGHT! THIS WILL NOT STOP ME FROM LOVING AND APPRECIATING AND HAVING JOY!!!
The only way the hate will win is if it takes away the love. LIGHT will always overpower the darkness. Truth will always have more power than the lies when all is said and done.

And LOVE is so much more a powerful force than hate…it just is.
So if you want to know what to do…first lend a hand to what is difficult and pray for what feels powerless and for those who are suffering. And then go out and LOVE YOUR LIFE…LOVE YOUR PEOPLE…and LOVE YOUR SPACE IN THE WORLD. Love your own beautiful self. See what’s good. Refuse to let anything stop you. Love and love and love and love!

Because….
Hate doesn’t win unless it takes away the love.

Hate doesn’t win unless it takes away the joy.

Hate doesn’t win unless it takes away the moving forward.

Hate doesn’t win unless it takes away our hope in each other.

Hi Alicia, I live in Yorkshire, 30 miles from Manchester. The impact of this attack in our region has been immense. My daughter's primary school gathered the children to explain what had happened in Manchester and also gave the children the chance to speak about their worries and fears. My daughter is only six and she and her classmates had lots of questions, some of them really heartbreaking ("is the terrorist going to find us?") The BBC children's channel CBBC Newsround also published advices of how to cope when you feel worried about a terrorist attack. How sad is for this generation to grow up learning things like this? At the same time there's been lots of images coming up on the news showing the community getting together, helping each other: hotels sheltering unaccompanied children, taxi drivers giving free rides to hospitals, restaurants serving free meals to emergency responders, people offering rooms, people going around with cups of teas. That's nice to see. And nice for the children to learn too: that we won't stop doing what we do and that there're loads of good people in this world.

Joy Abbott says: May 24, 2017 at 11:51 AM

Yes very sad news here in England!

i think you spoke beautifully for all of us today. melancholy is the descriptive word that speaks to my heart today. we must share light where we can. thanks for doing so.

It is good to know that the world we see here is as real as the world that delivers such heartbreak. I would say even more real. Thank you for all you say and show here. It is a tonic for the soul. Love seeing Clovermeadow. :) I have a Cardi because of her, my sweet Badger. Love and good things spread.

When things like Manchester happen, as they do so often now, I just want to keep my children close, home and doing the things we love to do-craft, read, bake and play in the yard. It's a peaceful little world that I hope they will create in their own homes some day, for their children.

Julie Archer says: May 24, 2017 at 03:32 PM

Thank you for your kind words. I am about 40 miles from Manchester in West Yorkshire. Such utter sadness this week it's a relief to visit your gentle blog, look at your pretty photos and read your kind words. x

Gentle, thoughtful post today. Like you, I'm trying to bring peace and comfort into my home in any way I can. My immediate thoughts on the latest attack were that terror perpetrated on our most vulnerable and innocent, wounds us all the most deeply. And that, in the end, is the goal of the terrorists.

I have been living in the U.S. for the past 6 years and read your blog frequently. I am from Manchester and hearing the news yesterday left me broken hearted. Mancunians have great sprit and resilience. They will get through this as they have done in the past and come out the other side even stronger. Thank you for your kind words and thoughts.

I find that more and more I prefer to stay at home where I nest and make everything as cozy as possible. Curled up knitting socks or piecing a quilt or playing with my dogs or watching my chickens scratch around in their yard. The world is getting far too dangerous and I want to keep my loved ones close, shut off from all the horror. Prayers for all those in Manchester. This is happening too often any more. When will the madness end?

Your post brought tears of comfort. Thank you.

Those words, Alicia! You have the soul of a real poet, a kind and generou soul. Feel lucky and grateful. Thanks

Colleen says: May 25, 2017 at 05:08 AM

The photo of your "change" room, the chair and soft light from the window. Then add the description of the heat, bright light, cool sheets, and fatigue and it reminds me of being a child. The hard play, hot summers, the slightly cooler room and the soft clean sheets. Thank you for reminding me of that time in place in the 60's where I did feel safe and have a sanctuary. Sweet. Peace and love, gratitude.

Wishing you peace and quiet moments of joy amidst the turmoil and troubles of the world. It does my heart good to see your beautiful photos, cozy home, and sweet and funny Amelia. My Erik has the same bashful bunny as Amelia, and they looks similarly well loved!

Cat McKenzie says: May 25, 2017 at 11:32 AM

Thank you for sharing your peaceful ways to deal with chaos in the world around us. It is always at times such as these that we seek the closeness of family, home and friends and wrap them around us like a soft quilt to guard us all. Your post reminds us of the balm that small daily tasks can bring.

Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all.

EMILY DICKINSON, "Hope is the thing with feathers"

A safe place is hard to find in this 'new' world of ours. All we can hope for is to make our part of it safer. I share your feelings for making that orderly safe place at home.
Continued prayers for all of us. ❤️

We live half an hour from Manchester and it's been such a shock. So many people affected; it's touched so many lives. So utterly senseless.

What has been heartening though has been the amazing groundswell of mutual support, generosity and quiet determination within the city and region. A defiance, a refusal to be divided, a determination not to allow the poison of hate to spread.

I've been reading your blog for years and it means so much to know that you are thinking of us and affected by it too. Thanks, Alicia and love to you all in the NW of America from the NW of England!

I read the news on the bus on the way to work and cried and then at our first meeting our chairman asked us to take a minute to think about what had happened (as if I could think of anything else) and I wanted to cry again and so did he. The strength of the families involved is overwhelming. One mum saying that she doesn't want her daughter to be a victim.

The picture of your girl looking out through the window is lovely - does it make sense to say that she is an old soul and has been here before? Someone said that about my daughter and I knew it was so.

Love to you and yours from me and my family. Becky (Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England)

Thank you for your words...I feel like I am living a parallel life! Cleaned and straightening everything and not even knowing why...And the thought of those children...and the mothers who were waiting. I have been that child and I have been that mother. Too much to bear for any one heart. Love you and all you give. Pam

Can't believe the vintage sheets I'm looking at on your blog! The yellow floral was a set my mom and dad had for years. The floral w the green background in the center my mom made cafe curtains for in my room when I was a girl( about 45 years ago.) I still have a piece of the leftover fabric. FYI the green background was a much brighter grassy shade. Mine has faded out to olive. Fun to see (but now I miss my mom and dad!) 💛💛💛

What happened in Manchester makes my heart sad! My prayers are with them. Wonder what beautiful pie that one is. Thank you for the beautiful words and peaceful photos! Hugs!

Thank you for this post. You described my feelings so eloquently. I think there are a lot of us
feeling this way. You have a way of bringing peace with your blogs. Thank you.❤️

Mamey Brown says: May 26, 2017 at 08:26 AM

Hi! I just found your blog and I love it! Thank you so much for sharing such lovely pictures of your home, flowers, daughter and life. It's SOOOOO comforting!

This has nothing to do with your post, but have you tried Crayon tinted embroidery? As the name implies, you color your design with old-school crayons before your embroider, laying down a softly tinted background for your stitching. My friend and I took a class in it earlier this week, so I'm very enthused about it. (You would be really good at it.) You can google it---it's a thing.

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About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.