Some of you may remember that I launched The 70273 Project on 2/14/2016 . . . Valentine’s Day . . . my birthday . . . Love Day. It seemed Right to me because this is a project about kindness, caring, respect, and compassion – all feeding into the river called Love.
Since Launch Day, we’ve been floating along, allowing the project to unfold and evolve as it will. Many people along the way have asked me to point them to the finish line, wondering what’s my deadline. It’s a fine line I walk, navigating between the numbers and the commemorating. I don’t want to do anything to distract us from the reason we’re gathered here around The 70273 Project campfire, don’t want to do anything to get between us and our commemorating those who died, celebrating those who live, and educating all who will listen.
There I was, about 10 days ago, writing in my journal when The Crazy Idea paid me another visit, landing on my shoulder and dictating this to my fingertips:
It shouldn’t take longer to love than it takes to hate.
Not giving me time to catch my breath, The Crazy Idea explained . . . the German Nazis took 20 months to murder 70,273 disabled people. Can we . . . shouldn’t we . . . commemorate those 70,273 people in the same length of time? Should it take us longer to commemorate than it took them to kill? Launch occurred on 2/14/16. Twenty months later is October 2017, so y’all, we have ourselves a goal. A target date. A finish line.
Now I don’t want us to get so focused on numbers – quantities, and dates – that we crank the blocks out like machines. That’s who they were, not who we are. That’s what they were about, not what we are about. But it does seem Right and Good to my Bones that we strive to have the blocks finished in 20 months. Does it feel Right and Good to you, too?
The world will not stop spinning if we don’t have all the blocks by October 31, 2017. The moon will not pack up and move to another galaxy far, far away. Cloth and thread will not dry up, disappear, cease to exist. If we don’t have all 70,273 blocks by the end of October 2017, we will simply continue stitching until we do have them all – one block for each disabled person murdered. (Important note: I’m talking having all the blocks completed by the end of next October, not the quilts, though we will continue to work on them, too. I expect they’ll take a bit longer, though.)
So it will be a soft deadline.
I will not crack a whip or purchase a bull horn or declare you must work overtime. Your pay will not be docked should we not meet our goal. But we will try, right? We will galvanize with renewed enthusiasm and dedication, right? (Please say yes.)
How will we do it? By continuing to do what we’re doing now: Creating an eternal grape vine by telling at least three people every week about The 70273 Project. Being breathing billboards by stitching blocks wherever we are. Sharing links to blog posts, tweets on Twitter, posts on Facebook. Inviting friends over to sit and stitch a spell. Getting on the agenda of our clubs and guilds. Making blocks with our siblings, encouraging our children to make blocks with their siblings, inviting our friends to join the English-speaking Facebook group or the French-speaking Facebook group, liking the Facebook page, subscribing to the blog. We’ll continue posting photos on Instagram, following the Pinterest board, and encouraging friends and family to do the same.
And always, always, always we’ll remember, honor, and commemorate.
Will we do it? Will we create another 66,129 blocks in a year? Can we do this big thing? I’m pretty darn sure we can because when we join together, when we bring our hearts and our hands together, when we believe deeply and wholeheartedly in what we’re doing, we do Big Things.
Thank you for being part of The 70273 Project Tribe. ‘Tis a good thing y’all are doing.
A very good thing.