Saturday, August 1, 2009

Needle Arts

A button has come loose. I take a few minutes on my way out the door, and sew it back on, checking the one next to it and tightening that one as well.
I’m on my way to be a door captain at the Colorado Music Festival, where I volunteer each summer. Loving classical music, I’m grateful to be an usher during the five week series at the beginning of the summer.
This summer I dropped into being a door captain with several people working with me, by default. One woman didn’t show up one evening and I was asked to sub in. Since then, I’ve been given that role at one of the four door entry ways into the huge Chautauqua auditorium, a huge barn-like structure that was built in a record amount of time and accommodates the orchestra and global music performances.
I wind the thread and knot it. Needle arts…how they relax me. I live in an adrenaline-oriented body system and I’m always looking for ways to calm down and relax. From eating cheese and heavier foods that knock me out, to herbs and music that let me breathe out slowly, to physical exertions of energy. And here, sewing on a button, reminds me of how relaxing I find hand sewing. I had forgotten.
I had embroidered table cloths with my mother from the time I was seven, simple cross-stitch patterns growing into flowers and leaves.
Then, years later, sitting at a playground while my young son romped with other kids on slides and swings, I embroidered velvet pouches that I gave as gifts.
I had just forgotten how hand sewing gave me a focus to relax behind. In and out with needle and thread, calming my in and out breaths, calming my mind in the process.
I wonder what project I’ll dream up here in the next few weeks to provide a place to come to relax. I’m looking forward to what I dream up.

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