4/18/10

Stitches and witches, sew what?

Moon Phase: Waxing Blossom Moon (4 day old)
Moon Sign: Gemini
Weather: Seasonably mild, clear skies and light breezes from the west. Venus is quite brilliant.

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My silly attempts at punning aside, I have spent my time since my last post here engaged in a great deal of spinning, sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet. This is not idle behavior but rather closely tied to my efforts to regain my psychological and spiritual health. It may sound a little silly, but I am in effect adopting some of the idea of the Prayer Shawl Ministry into one of my projects.

J & J are two very dear friends of mine who have fallen onto hard times. The husband of this sweet couple (who are like family to my husband and I, the proverbial 'brother from another mother' kind of deal here) has had the misfortune to be in prison because of an unjust law and will remain there until 2013, unless the Gods are kind and some act has him released into his wife's loving arms and liberty before then, healthy and hale. As they struggle to achieve some level of normalcy in this situation and do their best to retain their dignity in what is a truly degrading and dehumanizing situation (an innocent man sent to prison is just terrible for all involved), I was at a loss for what to do to bring a measure of help and comfort to the wife of this couple. They had told us various things we could do, but it really felt paltry in the face of the enormity of this tragedy.

Then I remembered reading about the Prayer Shawl Ministry as I was looking up shawl patterns to make for myself. Instead of a shawl, however, I am making a blanket which they both can share. As I work on this blanket, it is not simply that the blanket itself is going to be stitched with love, compassion, and good wishes for them. For this blanket is being made from hand-spun yarn from myself and those who spin and are willing to donate. The yarn I have made, it is special because into the yarn itself is spun my intentions to express the love, support, and good wishes of my family for these two very dear people in our lives. It may be simplistic but sometimes, it is the simplest forms of magic that work the best.

My newest embroidery project is a sampler done in colors inspired by myself with stitches chosen as they occur to me. It is something of a self-portrait in fabric. It is not a very large sampler, but I am intending to do another and another as I progress forward in my counseling. While my painting has reflected the pain and sorrow of the past, my embroidery has shown the radiant core of joy, peace, and love that has always been within me, undaunted by the afflictions that I have experienced. I haven't yet decided on the motto I'm going to stitch on to this. I am debating between Love Conquers All (in Latin or English, I'm not fully committed yet) or All acts of Love and Pleasure. I am planning on making this little sampler into either a pillow or a rose scented sachet. Either way, it is going to be one of the first things I see in the morning and one of the last I see at night. A daily reminder of my strength and the various other wonderful qualities I have within me. My intent is for this to be a love-gift to myself, for Beloved has very wisely pointed out that I haven't done enough kind things like this for myself.

Similar to the crochet blanket I mentioned earlier, I am going to be piecing and sewing a pair of quilts. It was initially going to be three quilts, but the plans for that fizzled out fairly quickly. One quilt is going to be of a modest size and I plan for it to be finished by Yule, at the latest. It is for my brother's soon-to-be ex-wife. Just as the crochet blanket I am making for J & J is going to embody the love and care that I and my family hold for them, this will do so for a woman who has become my sister in name and deed. It may no longer be in name, but she will always be a sister to me and I shall always treasure her presence in my life. This will be a sampler quilt of a very traditional design, there by I hope to not only carry forward my own bit of skills but also the heritage of my family that my brother's disgraceful behavior failed to convey to his wife and children.

The second quilt is going to be large enough for a king-sized bed and it will be what is known by some as a 'double top' or a 'double patchwork' quilt. This is specifically for our dear friend who is in prison right now. One block is going to be made for each month of his sentence. The last six months of his term are going to be for piecing together the blocks, quilting, and finishing this. It will be made with my thoughts and prayers for him. Happy memories, hopes, and everything else that comes to mind as I meditate upon him while I sew is going to be part of this. If I can, I am going to try to get Beloved to do some stitches into this also.

This is what I am working on. By doing this, I not only have tangible evidence in my hands of how I can help others, my love for them, the relationships I am in, and of who I am, I also help to sow peace and love where there is fear and anxiety. Even only a small measure of that helps the world at large.

Spring is the season of growth, if the Gods smile on me, perhaps these seeds will grow and run rampant, crowding out the depression and other things that have served to oppress me and many others. For we are all most severely in need of it.