March 26, 2015

Right of Passage

When I was about nine years old, my mother taught me how to cross-stitch.  She made it sound like it was a big deal, so I wanted to learn.  I remember the hours of torment poking myself with the needle, getting the thread tangled, making mistakes and not knowing how to fix them.  I remember many times when I had to ask my mom to help me fix the mistake I had made.  I also remember many times when my mom refused because she wanted me to learn on my own.  I hated it at first because It was difficult and painful, but eventually I started to figure things out.  I learned how to hold the needle so that I didn't stab myself constantly.  I learned how to thread the needle easily.  I learned how to fix major mistakes I had made and to pay very close attention to what I was doing because small mistakes early can lead to huge mistakes later.  Most importantly, however, I learned that at the end of all of this pain and toil and aggravation, when everything was said and done, when it was finished and I could stand back and see what hours upon hours upon hours of work got me, I saw a beautiful picture unfold and I got the satisfaction of knowing that all that effort paid off.

I still make mistakes when I sew.  I still have to go back and fix things I've done wrong.  I'm still learning tricks too; this last year I finally figured out how to avoid having the ends of the thread become horribly uneven.  Tonight, I also did something I have never done before:  I somehow broke the needle.  I still don't know how it happened.  The eye of the needle somehow snapped off.  I didn't even know that was possible!  I feel kind of accomplished.

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