Everyday Stitching

einsteinfish

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

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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.” 

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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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Tedium & Beauty

PosyLove

A thought kept popping into my head:

“Golly this is tedious!”

Even though I was absorbed in the tiny stitches, the small bits of fabric, the sewing it all together…it nevertheless felt very fiddly and tedious. The amount of time it took to create this 2 1/2″ bit of beauty was, well….staggering!

And then it hit me:

Beauty is often wrought in tedium.

Handwork lovers of all kinds know this. Any who knit, crochet, embroider, quilt, smock, tat, etc…we know that something beautiful will result from the hours of tedium in intricate stitches.

Now if I can just remember this about life, I’ll be better off. So much of life can also feel tedious and fiddly. This week I’ve been reminding myself, when that “this is tedious!” thought crosses my mind – Beauty is afoot!

Where there’s tedium…there is beauty!

Wishing you a day of finding beauty in the tedium of your life.

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My skin-to-be-comfortable-in for my daughter’s upcoming wedding is progressing. I’m pleased thus far. Still more to go. But I haven’t had to rip anything out lately. Thankfully.