Friday, July 9, 2010

Stitches from your heart

In my class, one of my students and friend, Joyce, talked about how her Mother had sewn, but in no thanks to her (then young and silly) brother. Her Mother had cut apart several pieces of fabric to start a quilt. This is when her brother entered the scene and stated that was the most foolish thing- to cut fabric apart and then sew it all back together...from that her Mother never made another quilt.

I find it interesting that all of us,especially women, are brought up to please others. This is only a bad trait when we end up taking away from ourselves and our beliefs. It is interesting that we will listen to what is in others hearts (to please them) and not stay true to what is in our own hearts (for our selves). We slow our growth when we sway away from what we know in our hearts.

Several days later, I was reading an article on women over 40 finding spirituality suited to their own heart. One article stood out to me about a women who was to be ordained as a Buddhist priest. As part of this process she is to create Buddha's robe, which is to take eight yards of fabric and cut it into 49 pieces, and then, yes, sew it all back together (by hand) 14,000 stitches in all. There is a Zen meditation-mantra that is practiced during this ancient sewing ritual, namu kie the needle goes in namu, the tip comes out kie, and the needle pulls the silk thread through the fabric butsu. She watches as her breath slows, her mind lets go...and "is able to relax with what just is, in each moment".
each stitch done with care and thought
template of the pattern

example done in Shaman ochre
pieces ready to be stitched
well-loved garment that has been repaired

To me, that what sewing is all about, especially hand sewing...I find that it is so good for you, to be sitting there doing something you love and in the moment.
And... in closing, my friend's Mother did go own to sew garments and other things- she still took what was in her heart and stitched.
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