People often say to me things like – “You’re so patient” or “I could never do that, it’s so tedious.” What I want to tell them is that I am so NOT patient. I am incredibly impatient, so much so that as a child my impatience was something often commented on by others, not just my parents! I would like to report that I’ve made massive inroads with this since then, but the truth is, I tend towards impatience rather than the other way around. However life has a way of throwing things at you, and over the years I’ve had to dig deep to find ways to temper my impatience. One of those ways, ironically, is through stitching.
Stitching is like meditation. It calms my mind, gets me out of myself and my often whirlwind thoughts that can ricochet from one crises to the next if left untended. Tending to my ragged nervous system requires vigilance and a whole series of things that I must do each day so that I have a chance at making sane, calm choices. Stitching is something I must do. It doesn’t feel like an option. It feels like a necessity. I must have material, needle and thread in hand or I feel off, the day is destined to be more difficult, life’s problems feel more acute, small problems take on a razor sharp edge, things begin to feel increasingly chaotic and impossible. Stitching gives me some semblance of order, a feeling of being a part of something much larger; a feeling that I am part of something inexplicable and unknown.
As I design and look at each shape, consider which thread to use, what stitch will best compliment that shape, those colors, that idea – it feels like I am inserting a little beauty into the day. And so this is how I cope. This is how, when everything feels impossible, when I am overwhelmed by life, through stitching I feel some semblance of calm in the midst of, what otherwise feels like, a tsunami.