I am forever endeavoring to live in the present, yet at heart, I am a purveyor of the past, a collector and exhibitor of memory and story. My creative acts of preservation and observation do not include the making of quilts or scrapbooking. My skills in these areas are at best, minimal. Instead, my attempts at weaving the past with the present are smaller in form- a mixed media piece, a simple arrangement, or even a pillow. Yes, a pillow-- a quirky canvas for capturing memories and reflections.
I’m not sure why I started making accent pillows for friends and family. Nevertheless, I have made pillows for numerous individuals, young and old, to mark various events- weddings, births, and other significant life transitions. They have each encompassed a story, a tangible telling incorporating favorite phrases and sentiments, materials, and personal mementoes.
Recently, when I was considering this rather odd creative endeavor, a particular expression came to mind, “pillow talk.” Perhaps my pillows tell stories- about their owners, about me, about the relationships we sometimes share.
While “pillow talk” usually refers to intimate conversations between lovers, I believe the term deserves an expanded definition. For me, pillow talk encompasses the bevy of late night situations where stories, feelings, and intimacies are shared. In my lifetime, it has included the tales and poems recited by my babysitter as she tucked me into bed; the quiet, dimly lit whisperings between my sister and me; the secrets revealed during slumber parties and sleepovers; and later as wife and mother, the bedtime conversations conducted with my children and spouse. It has all been pillow talk, where joys, fears, and love have been revealed.