"As long as the world is turning and spinning, we're gonna get dizzy and we're gonna make mistakes."
- Mel Brooks, The 2,000Year Old Man
Word(s) of the Week: TINY STITCHES, BABY STEPS
Seeing samples of very small embroidery stitches by artists on Facebook, it seemed such a wise approach to a complex, lengthy task. Teensy. Wee. Such a sharp and slender needle, such a fine thread. We are held together without our stuffing starting to leak by delicate, intentional work of hand and eye and heart. I will, I swear, regardless of the years and decades I have done it otherwise, take whatever time it requires to steward meaningful aspects of myself and my wild, precious life. Even with excruciating caution, one gets dizzy and makes mistakes.
I no longer believe that quantity is the equal of quality. I have attended with unblinking focus the handwork of artists shown in documentaries about the great fashion houses. I am slow and can just, just, be present for one next indicated thing at a time, one bead, one stitch. When my mind begins to run away with - or from - me, I reel it back in and take up where I was before becoming lost. Regardless of what many try to sell us, this is not a contest, not with others and not with ourselves. Actions with no quantifiable product may be the best possible use of time. That I can sift and sort through envelopes, stacks of text and cover-weight papers in rainbow shades, quiets my mind, seals out unhelpful chatter, builds clarity. That colors lift my spirits and, I have no doubt, strengthen my immune system makes such a practice medicinal. Were I a consultant with a roster of patients, I would suggest it for healing potential.
Once we become truly quiet, I imagine John Muir among the highest branches of a Yosemite pine, we are able to hear, if not necessarily interpret, what we are trying so fervently to tell ourselves. If your message is to speed up, use big and loopy stitches, well, you have to heed that. More likely, though, it is the opposite. Our lives are not improved by doing at least two things at a time. It may seem virtuous, the very model of the Puritan ethic, and your noisesome mind will affirm it. Yet I know I am so much smarter in silence than I am in hubbub. Slow, small, quiet, deliberate. Patience, the voices murmurs, more will be revealed.