Sunday, March 10, 2013

Embroidery for a March Snow & an Unscheduled Life

Embroidery for a March Snow and an Unscheduled Life

The bliss of having a few unscheduled days; the calm that comes with a clock ticking away with no observance on my part; the switch from swarming in the hive along with my fellow drones to stepping back and tasting the honey. It's good for the artist soul. (And somewhere inside, I believe we all have an artist soul.)

I just spent spent three days in the big city where I visited friends and my daughter and coffee shops and a quaint bar on Dundas, with no preconceptions about how each day should unfold. One day I lost my precious (to me) necklace at a Starbuck's and didn't realize it until late that night.  I counted twelve places in total where the necklace might be, retracing my bohemian steps that day. It was coming on close to midnight so I climbed into bed with a sinking feeling that I might not see my necklace again.  The next morning, I made my calls and to my amazement, the server at the Starbucks had retrieved it and put it into a little envelope in the event that I returned looking for it.  There are indeed good people in the world! 

One day, my daughter and I opened up a book on embroidery stitches and on an scrap of red velvet, I began to embroider.  Throughout the remainder of the trip, I added a new stitch or embellishment onto the scrap of cloth. The cloth kept me company throughout the trip, wherever I went.


And on the way home on the plane, I sat beside a woman who had never flown before. She was quite anxious and we shared a few things about our lives, as strangers in passing.  After the initial chit-chat typical of strangers, we both sunk into our own quiet worlds.  I then pulled out my stitched cloth out from my purse to work on it. (I'm not entirely sure if needle work is acceptable on a plane but I assumed if it was an issue, the stewardess would have told me.) Once I began stitching, it just seemed to open up a door between myself and the woman beside me. She told me that she runs programming in beading and traditional Aboriginal crafts in her community and that she herself did needlework. From there, we shared stories about our children and our lives. She felt lonely and out of sorts as she had attended a conference and had been separated from her five children, including her two little ones. We went from two strangers having a polite conversation to two women who found common ground.  The shift towards the personal, undoubtedly, came from the embroidery floss and needle.    

Upon my return home from the trip, my northern city has been transformed into an enchanted winter wonderland. When I took a walk today in the snow, I "saw" French knots in the dried flowers, and chain stitches in the tall grasses and feather stitches in the landscape.