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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Walking in Love on a Frozen Path

I am a lifelong sewer. Seamstress. Lover of fabric and what I can make with it. I spent much of my free time as a high school student behind a sewing machine in the middle of our family room making clothes. My three brothers and my sister did not complain. There I was in the middle of the room we all shared as a place to hang out, sewing. I do remember some complaints about the pins and needles occasionally found in the carpet. Since I was the only one who actually stepped on a needle and had it break off in my foot I guess there is a certain rightness to the way it all works.

As anyone who has sewn even a little bit knows, there are times when we need to unsew. We put something in upside down or inside out or backwards. As tempted as I am to keep on going in these situations and just leave things in, with clothing this simply gives you an unwearable or strange garment. I want to say that even mistakes need not deter someone from continuing on without 'fixing' is important. If Loss of Momentum to keep on when undoing would stop you in your tracks completely.

I think I loved to sit in the family room of the home I grew up in and sew because it kept me centered somehow. Grounded in the middle of where I lived, the people I lived with, the rushing about of seven people who were all going in several different directions themselves! The care of myself in a fundamental way: making my own clothes. But also I could use the machine to zoom through the making of clothes while my heart and mind could zone out, contemplate, kanoodle, wander, meditate. And my body could be still from all the activities I was engaged with.

Unsewing must be one of the banes of our life with needle and thread. And yet every single one of us have need of this at times no matter how skilled and gifted we are in our art and craft. As I sat down to write this I suddenly saw how my life is not unlike my sewing. In my life I act in ways that are upside down or backwards to what I know I want the outcomes to be. Many times the results, the consequences are not big. Often times when I go to someone with a wrong I think I have committed they don't even see it. But there are those times in life when a big undoing is needed. Necessary. Important. Vital. To leave A garment without a thorough redo when the sleeve was put in without the ability to put the arm through would render it useless. So too our lives at certain points invite us to examine what might need to be taken out, removed. In a garment a seam ripper is an invaluable tool. In life I find friends are there to help pull out threads and pull apart seams, quilting, put in wrong.

I had the opportunity to have dinner last night with friends. Women that I have sewn with for years. Women that are looking after one another. Women that are standing with one another while some of us are ripping out the seams of our lives and putting things back together correctly. How grateful I am to all of you who are working on this project. Walking in Love in your lives while you do everything you do in your life and are still finding time to support this art. Thank you.

I sing out encouragement to Frannie: You will get your panel done, machine or no machine!
To Angenett: All the love and care you give will come back to you multiplied! Happy Birthday!
To Susan: You are a role model to me in this project the way you are steadfastly giving the work of Walking in Love your full  focus. Happy Birthday!
Mary: you live life in love so seamlessly you are a graceful dance to watch.
Karen: take courage to keep going in following your inner voice creatively.
Everyone: keep breathing. Those three slow deep breathes do return you to the depth of who you are.
To those on the sidelines cheering as we come near to the finish line: Thanks!!!!

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