One person’s dreamer and fool is another person’s inspiration. If holding on to your dreams feels like swimming against the tide, then here is an idea what will help.
You may know how soul destroying it can be, when people do not value your uniqueness and discourage your dreams.
In my youth I used to be called a fool. Judged and misunderstood, with no champion of my talents. I felt defeated. Instead of living up to my dreams, I tried to fit in with a life that was full of others but devoid of a true sense of ‘me’.
I wish someone had told me then, that I have value and that like with a patchwork:
The pieces may not match, BUT THAT IS OKAY. (The Patchwork Fools.)
The graveyard of broken dreams is full of human potential, ambitions and value that were never realized.
Ditching our dreams we become empty vessels, floating in choppy seas, with no port to call our home. We become disgruntled, unsettled and cynical. We may even join the ‘fool naming brigade’, instead of doing our turn to become inspiring and to be inspired.
Finally, I have started to become the fool I always wanted to be, and I have never felt more content and authentic.
But even a fool needs hope.
When I was looking for some help and enthusiasm for a new project idea, I started knocking on many doors. Not many people have time for a fool, when they keep their own inspiring fool under lock and key.
It is not easy to keep going, to feel enthusiastic about our ideas, about ourselves and about the point of it all.
That’s exactly when we need something to connect us to hope and the fact that we are not alone. There is a new project to do exactly that and with a message to uplift us all.
Recently, someone came knocking on my door. The Patchwork Fools, an up and coming Indie Pop band, based in Baltimore MD in the United States. They had read my article David Bowie, You and I – Our Shared humanity.
Celebrating the value of our struggles and triumphs resonates with their own take on life.
“A truly uplifting message must first acknowledge the darker places in the world.” (Patchwork Fools)
They told me about a project they have launched to remind us that in moments of darkness we are not alone but united.
I asked a lot of questions, but not the most obvious one: Why “fools”? It did not matter, because I felt inspired. Having ‘fools’ in your title, in my book at least, says a lot about self belief. And I suspect a big spark of that self belief ignited my passion for their idea. What a great gift!
What is it all about and how does it work?
The Patchwork Fools believe our lives, yours and mine, are full of contrasts, light and darkness. Rather than glamorizing or demonizing one over the other, contrasts belong together and make a whole.
Just like their music “which combines influences from a lot of genres (folk, post-rock, electronic pop, jazzy piano riffs) into a nice musical melting pot.”
Equally, our society is full of different unique and creative qualities, which The Patchwork Fools bring together through the idea of a patchwork quilt.
“We ask fans to draw or write something unique about themselves on bits of fabric. We sew the pieces into patchwork quilts and display them at our performances to show that creativity can bring people together.
Like the mismatched fabric on a patchwork quilt, we can and should be united in our differences.
It is an important message given the political and social divides in the world.”
The idea and history of quilting is linked to people coming together; a community that shares expertise, knowledge and passion for a task.
A quilt is also something to keep us warm, gives us safety and comfort.
The grandma of one of The Patchwork Fools wrote a song with these lyrics: “Each piece of quilt has its own unique color, texture, beauty, and charm. Like my friends when we get together, playing music which sets us apart.” Without knowing, the band would use this same analogy a few years later. The power of serendipity!
“A patchwork quilt will keep you warm at night, whether the pieces match or not.” (The Patchwork Fools)
To celebrate the launch of their debut album “Denser Suns” The Patchwork Fools will also make their first digital quilt.
Personally, I like the idea.
We need reminders of our values and dreams to keep us comforted, grounded, motivated and inspired.
What you can do
Even if you cannot contribute a patch yourself, you can make the idea work for you and share in the combined energy of its vision.
You, too, can make patchwork art to represent your own qualities, hopes and aspirations, the people and things that inspire you and why you are inspiring, too.
You can use a variety of methods and styles. Be creative and see what works best for you:
Textiles, sounds, a scrap book, pictures, poems, single words, a collage, on your bedroom wall or ceiling, digitally on Facebook, Instagram or elsewhere, or things you collect in nature – the possibilities are vast.
The pay off for you: Hope and Connection
Your own patchwork represents hope for your value, dreams, aspirations and fears, the good moments full of inspiring light and the dark moments of doubt and fears.
“Oh my dear, I think the clouds are out tonight
So we’ll wait for a clear tomorrow-sky”
(from Denser Suns, The Patchwork Fools)
Like with The Patchwork Fools’ quilt your own effort will keep you connected to yourself in a world that might frown on your dreams and call you a fool. You are not alone in that.
Stay connected to yourself and feel inspired by yourself.
When you are in that place you might even inspire others and you will be open to be inspired.
“We are capable of love and passion in the cold universe’s blink of an eye.” (Patchwork Fools)
Now I am a middle aged fool reconnecting with my dreams. I am still misunderstood and judged, but that’s ok. I can cope with that. And I am hoping to live long enough to become an old fool with a heart full of passion.
So, call me a fool. Please do.
To find out more about The Patchwork Fools and their music visit www.thepatchworkfools.com.
This short video shows the quilt idea in action.
You can connect with The Patchwork Fools via @patchworkfools on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Karin Sieger is a psychotherapist and writer. She specialises in supporting people through anxiety, bereavement and life-changing illnesses like cancer. Her blog is Between Self and Doubt. You can follow her on Twitter and can sign up for her newsletters here. For more information visit KarinSieger.com.
Images used with permission by The Patchwork Fools.