I've always been too sensitive. It's in my nature to feel things deeply and carry burdens close. I don't choose to worry or feel sad. On the contrary, I make a conscious choice every day to be grateful. Living with gratitude is so much more beautiful than living with worry. Naming my blessings and being thankful daily really has changed my perspective on life. But sometimes bad things happen and all the gratitude in the world won't fix it.
Obviously the sad events in Paris this weekend have been heavy on all our hearts. So senseless and tragic. There is no good to be seen or purpose to be served. It's just sad. Everything about it. Sad for the victims, sad for their families, sad for the world we live in.
Closer to home, we had a health scare in our family. A week ago, my child developed symptoms identical to those she had three years ago when she was diagnosed with a tumor. Once you go through that journey with a child, you have a level of fear you never knew was possible. She received extraordinary care from the chief of the orthopedic oncology department at Emory right here in Atlanta. He actually developed the synthetic bone graft that helped rebuild her femur once the tumor was removed. She has been healthy and active since her recovery and I think our guard had slipped. When we got the good news that she is dealing with minor scar tissue issues and no signs of a new tumor, I sobbed. Literally sobbed the entire car ride home. I knew I had been stressed but the level of which I had not recognized.
So how does it work? How does stitching soothe my soul? It doesn't fix anything, it doesn't provide any solutions. But somehow, the familiar motion of pulling needle and thread through fabric gives my mind a place to slow down. Stitching allows my fingers stay busy so my heart can relax. It gives me a safe place to do something that is so familiar that I don't have to think about tying knots or threading needles, those motions are built into my muscle memory at this point. It gives me a task that I do have control over so I can focus on that rather than on the things I can't control. It allows me to surround myself with fabrics and threads that I love and simple tools that serve me well. It puts a small sense of order into the midst of chaos.
Maybe that's an over simplification of a much more complex idea. Maybe it sounds a bit naive. My words can't express all the things my heart feels obviously. But I think it's so vital that we recognize what our stitching gives us (besides beautiful quilts!) When we give our stitching the respect it deserves and recognize what it give us in return, we can let go of superficial excuses. We don't need to excuse our fabric addiction or our ufo's. We don't need to explain our time and resources spent on this 'hobby' of ours. We don't need to justify why we have threads on all our clothing.
That's why quilting is my therapy.