April 5, 2017


Yesterday, the weather was decidedly unsettled. Sunshine one minute, rain the next, back to sunshine, to dark skies and the threat of thunderstorms. Rising sinus pressure with lowering barometric pressure. In perfect harmony with nature, I couldn't settle either. Haphazard forays into one chore and another. Thoughts leapfrogging from my to do list to art and the nature of creativity, from my ongoing job search to what to make for dinner. 

Unfocused and slightly anxious, I took a walk and tried to shrug off my restlessness. At one stop along my amble, a book title leaped out at me from the library shelves, Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt. It's a novel based on the 1612 Pendle (England) witch-hunt. Earlier this year I re-read Jeanette Winterson's inventive tale inspired by what transpired at Pendle Hill, The Daylight Gate. Ever a fan of coincidence and synchronicity, I promptly borrowed Sharratt's account. Unfortunately, I couldn't settle to read it upon returning home.
That's when I gave in to my meandering mind and allowed it full reign to flit and slide and leapfrog while my hands stitched meandering lines of thread. I blew out the bottom of these shorts returning home from my polling place last November. (At least I choose to believe that's when the tear occurred.  I sincerely hope I wasn't inadvertently mooning the election volunteers.) 
There's something about repetitive, tedious, and fairly mindless hand work that I love. Sitting still for hours, not noticing time pass, thoughts free to circle and flit and wander. The barest resistance to the needle point passing through the threadbare fabric, the wonky lines of marching stitches slowly covering more and more surface, the slight puckering of the fabric creating tantalizing texture. The restlessness dissipating, replaced by the rhythm of stitching. Unfocused thoughts unwinding, slowing to the rhythm of stitching. Slow. Rhythmic. Calm. Quiet.

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