Friday, January 16, 2009

In the Sewing Room of Life



So, I finally spent some time in my little sewing nook.....and as small as an area as it is....I got lost. The Journey Through the Heart is not an easy one, but it is a continual and important part of each of our daily lives. For many of us, that journey involves doing for ourselves, as well as for others...with needle and thread. We create, we mend, we craft and we quilt. We put together and we tie together......all of the pieces of our lives, and the lives of those that we love...and we do it with the fabric of foundations and the energies of creation. We are...in essence and in fact....women of the cloth.

I was not only lost in fabrics and threads, pincushions and fluff, I was lost, period. I couldn't find the smallest, or most obvious, or the simplest thing. I couldn't remember the room, how to use my sewing machine, or even what I wanted or needed to do. It was indeed, a spiritual journey and as all spiritual journeys are...I was lost in a wilderness and trying to find my way through.

When I left my sewing room on August 25th, I left it 'ready for action.' I was expecting to be back in three, maybe four weeks. and get right back to work..... just where I left off. I left it clean and tidy, but with things otherwise 'as is.'

I left the machine set for 'free motion' with a nice free motion foot in place. I left my variegated cone thread on its stand, ready to finish a quilt. I left lists and notes, pictures and ideas...all right where they belonged.

The problem was...I didn't know how to turn my year old machine on and use its settings anymore. I couldn't remember how to electronically lift its pressure foot, how to switch out of its 'free motion' setting, or how to get custom stitches anymore. I couldn't figure out where I'd even left the regular presser foot all those long four months before, or where the magic remote was that turned on my iron. I didn't know which basket held which projects, or where in the world my sewing to-do list was. I was a stranger in a strange land. And here it was one of the most dearly beloved rooms in my own little house.

The problem was.....I no longer felt like I belonged! I'd just spent over four months in Alaska. My parents' unexpected health crises sent me spiraling into prolonged caretaking action. My brain, my heart ,and even my limbs, were all energetically and emotionally programmed into the flow of constant and continual service.

I had a continual and constant practice of creating and managing 'Life In Progress' and constantly and continually being one in the daily communion and practice and in service to others. My ritual had changed.....and somehow, I had changed in its process. I had become a CRISPy...a continually recalled slower project!

So, my LIPs and my WIPs were no longer in alignment. I was caught off balance....just like Julie was....when she discovered that she was out of whack. And just like Julie, I have more than just one short leg, one sloped shoulder, muscle and joint issues. I, too, have a heavy heart.

So, I sat on the floor of my sewing room yesterday and I tried to find my way back. Like dear Finn, who uses sewing therapy to find her way back from missing people or lost places, I have also learned to do the same for my hard times. Like the always caring Paula, I have learned to use different gifts in different ways. Like the indomitable Shelina, I have learned to start over from scratch and keep on going. Like SuBee, I have learned that you can hit absolute bottom and still find something worth looking up for again. Like Tracey, I have learned that you can learn to make do with less, and treasure each and every small piece of your life....when your heart is filled with love. And like Anna, I am learning that we can love others with all our hearts....and still let go and let others do...as well.

So, I poked and prodded, searched and opened. I looked through every single container, every basket, every drawer and bin. I needed to remember not only my love of The Fabric , The Lofting of the Batt and the Stitch, Stitches, Stitching but just why I collected and saved all the Stash, Stashed, Stashing, Stashes.

And bit by bit, hour by hour...it all began to come back to me. I began my communion again. The process of becoming one with a sacred passion, the journey through the ever twisting spiral of life to find meaning in purpose and purpose in deed and deed in action. I discovered my own secret garden in this little space of mine. A little space with a great big heart. I was home again.

11 comments:

  1. I have to tell you I was very touched by your post today. I did the same thing over New Year's weeked only I could not find all my sewing/quilting supplies. Little by little I have found some of them. But after 3 years of not being able to sew. I have worked 2 jobs for the last 3 years. I have been able to do small projects and your right it does seem to come back to you. The love of creating and the need to embrace something from scratch.

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  2. And the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step...... every time! Sometimes it's not easy or comfortable to make that first step, but we manage to pick our way. Welcome home to all those open arms!

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  3. your post was moving and insparing to so many that don't find their way back to the wonderful place of crafting and being with yourself when you do. Thank you for this post of letting yourself be known to us all.

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  4. This is the same process I use when I have a creative block. Just poking around and fondling fabric, refolding it, sorting threads, running my fingers through a box of buttons. Just tactile stuff. It works. Welcome back into the fold.

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  5. Michele,
    What a lovely post Michele- you have returned home and left home at the same time- it must be a strange juxastaposition - My sewing room sometimes is my refuge ( as long as my son and his friends are not playing Rockband :D) where I can play with the fabric- I find petting the fabric indeed therapeutic and suddenly the rest of the world disappears into the folds. When I return to the main floor of our home I feel reconnected with life and relaxed.
    I hope you find the time to return to the place where you can fuel your creative soul.
    I have been thinking of you and yours and hoped that all was well.
    Thank you for the lovely compliment- I can think of nothing better than be known of a person of heart.
    Be well,
    Warmest regards,
    Anna

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  6. Im sending you a award as you are a wonderful lady, you dont have to do this if you dont want to,.

    your sewing room looks great, im slowly making space for all my sewing,

    This is a very cool Portuguese Award and it means this blog invests in and believes that blogging makes us close. Proximidade translated to English means vicinity, or neighbourhood.


    The meaning of this award:This blog invests and believes in Proximity- nearness in space, time and relationships.These blogs are exceedingly charming.These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends .They are not interested in prizes for self-aggrandizement!Our hope is that when the ribbon of these prizes are cut ,even more friendships are propagated.I happily pass this award on to 8 fellow

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  7. sorry michele i forgot to say to get award picture pop over to my blog

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  8. What a beautiful and carefully thought out post. You will find your way back in - you are doing so! But after a break that long, and with so much else obviously on your mind, it's no wonder it's a journey to get back in. But that's the beauty of crafting. It draws you in again and again, and you get hooked each new time.
    Thank you so much for your lovely comments on my post. I think crafting anything is such a warm activity to share.

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  9. Welcome home, my dear. . . so difficult, this shifting locations, attitudes, behaviors, mindsets, responsibilities . . . so much to cope with. . . I'm so glad you are finding your way for YOU and your soul! Go gently ~

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  10. You write so beautifully. I just love to read every post you write. Thank you for everything you give to those of us who read your blog!

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  11. Hi Michele, I emailed you earlier about the quilt poem and have just had time to look at your blog in detail. This was such a touching post and I am so glad I found it. My mom, my best friend, died in Sept. after 6 mos. of in-home hospice care. I notice all the donating you and your friends do making hospice comfort quilts. It seems there are many of us trying to find our way again after many changes. May God bless you richly.

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.