Everyday Stitching

einsteinfish

If I could climb into each knitted stitch…there would be something there to learn.

weavingspring

If I could freeze a moment in the warp & weft of everyday living…I might be able to find what it feels like I am missing.

I want to be able to experience the same wonder and marvel at ordinary knit stitches, made over and over again, in my everyday tasks. Is it possible to approach laundry, meal prep, cleaning, errands, and all the myriad of things we do every single day, day in and day out, over and over, with the same stillness, calm, and enjoyment as the over/under of weaving?

I don’t know. I haven’t been able to master that. At all.

I’m reading a wondrous book. Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Warren, is a beautifully honest, life affirming litany of the mundane tasks we engage in every day. Her writing encourages me to remember that these same tasks, boring and never-ending as they are, have the opportunity to be oases from which to drink of the goodness God has for us.

Yes! Yes..this is what I long for. For many months now, I’ve been craving a more contemplative life. I long for this in my creative life as well…to make things slowly, carefully, with presence in body and purpose of mind and heart. I even daydream of living a type of monastic life filled with daily prayer, meditation, knitting, spinning, weaving.

It sounds idyllic. Well, to me it does. The thing is…I would still have meals to prepare. Cleanup afterwards. Laundry to do. Lightbulbs to replace. Repairing broken things. Upkeep and maintenance of everyday appliances. Etc. I’m actually quite spoiled in those latter few…my husband does most of the upkeep and maintenance around our home. And yet I still grumble about all the other stuff that seems to fill much of my days.

I’m in sore need, here at the beginning of a New Year, of reorienting my mind and heart to this truth:

“The crucible of our formation is in the anonymous monotony of our daily routines.” -Tish Warren

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Like knitting the same stitch over and over and over again. Like running a thread over and under and over again. This is where beauty is wrought. I know this. I believe this.

Lord, help my unbelief.

The thing is, I’m a dreamer. I dream of grand things, of accomplishments, of revolutionary beauty being brought into the world. Tish Warren does too:

“I was, and remain, a Christian who longs for revolution, for things to be made new and whole in beautiful and big ways. But what I am slowly seeing is that you can’t get to the revolution without learning to do the dishes.” 

einsteincomplete

I won’t get to wear the sweater or give the knitted gift, until I’ve slogged through countless knit stitches. I won’t see a lovely tapestry until I’ve worked the over-under over and over again.

Yes. Today. Tomorrow. And on through 2017.

Knit my stitch. Weave my thread. Do my dishes.

Artfully yours,

Jennifer

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5 thoughts on “Everyday Stitching

  1. I had forgotten that I left this comment. Your late response was timely as I sat feeling a bit spent from a day doing “dishes”. You know those days – busy doing things that seem to pull us in the opposite direction from the time, space, and creative exercises that soothe and nurture our souls.

    Although I had been reading your blog for a while, it was your Pilgrim Walk posts that revealed the reason behind the niggling sense that there was/is a deeper connection to you. You are a Christian. You love the Lord. You yearn to see and serve Him in the ordinary, daily, and mundane reality of life.

    Oh the serendipity!

    I am grateful for your kindred spirit.

    May you have a blessed weekend.

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    • Thank you so much Cheryl! We are both doing our daily chores…I am cleaning house: bathrooms, vacuuming, dusting. It is as you say -that which pulls me away from where I’d like to be, creating and making things. But it does help me to remember that I’m creating a sparkly home, one in which our visitors will breathe well and feel welcome I hope. We have various family coming in this weekend and I wanted them to have clean bathrooms, etc. I am taking a break now before I finish the last of the vacuuming to say thank you for your sweet messages all the way from Trinidad! It is really cool to know a fellow creative and sister in Christ from another part of the world! We can cheer each other on in seeing God’s beauty even in our daily “doing the dishes”. A rich and wonderful weekend to you as well! -Jennifer

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      • Wow, what a busy day, but all for a clean, comfortable space for you and your family and also welcoming for your guests this weekend. Thanks for the wonderful weekend wishes.

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  2. “I was, and remain, a Christian who longs for revolution, for things to be made new and whole in beautiful and big ways. But what I am slowly seeing is that you can’t get to the revolution without learning to do the dishes.” 

    You peered into my mind and saw my thoughts. You rummaged through my heart and discovered my long-held desire to harness, cultivate and live mindfully, gratefully and creatively in the push and pull of everyday life and (seemingly) mundane tasks.

    However, you’ve expressed it all so much more strikingly and succinctly than I have in the past.

    Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts and longings, which all help to bring mine into such sharp focus and make them seem not hairy-fairly, but legitimate and possible. And I just ordered Tish Warren’s book (kindle edition).

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    • How could I have missed this lovely comment? I am so grateful for your companionship on my blogs, Cheryl! I apologize for being so long in responding…you have truly been kind in your words here and I am thankful! Buen Camino to my fellow knitting and drawing friend! -Jennifer

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