The Return

I’m back working on cloth.  I didn’t drift away from my practice, just the medium.  Instead of working with cloth, I’ve been working with yarn.  I’ve been knitting on a daily basis and although still a fiber I felt like I was cheating.  Of course the cloth is my first love but I’m making shawls that have a greater purpose than beauty or warmth.

Last year my mother and father turned 65.  They were going to take the family on a vacation but the economy happened and that meant a postponement of the trip.  Well as you all know life happens and my parents started looking at the importance of living a life instead of worrying about the inheritance.  They planned a trip that is coming up soon and it will have not only family but wonderful friends.  My parents will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary the week after we return from the trip.

I’m creating shawls for each of my mother’s friends.  The women are the heads of their clans and I think it’s important to honor this position.  The idea came to me because I was given a gold pocket watch at my Bar Mitzvah that had been passed down from my great-grandfather.  There was no such thing for the women in the family.  I’m hoping to create this lineage with the shawls.

Each stitch of the shawl is embedded with good wishes for health and happiness.  It is a strand of eternity.  It’s something that each of these women can pass down to daughters and granddaughters at important rites of passage in their lives.  The great thing is that the shawl comes with a story and that story can be passed down through the generations with the shawl.

It’s a pattern that doesn’t require a lot of thought so I can focus on the stitch instead of the pattern.  Why am I talking about a return?  I’m back at the cloth with love and admiration for each thread that makes the cloth.  I’m working with the sound of the sewing machine as it hums and creates a trance-like state allowing me to be everywhere and nowhere at the same time.  It’s a great feeling and a reminder that I can always return home!


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