Monday, September 5, 2011

The Present

I wrote this as a submission to Oprah's Life Class about the book "A New Earth".  If you haven't read it, I would highly recommend it.  Anyway, the question was "How has your ego blocked you from living your best life?"  I will submit this, but it's too long (2000 characters maximum).  I have a hard time editing. 

I love to sew.  And over the years I’ve gotten quite good at it because I made my own clothes, my children’s clothes, and a myriad of curtains and pillows for my house.  I’ve made couture wedding dresses, bags to hold life preservers, linen napkins and belts.  I’ve tailored jackets, altered skirts, and quilted baby blankets.  Through it all I’ve not only developed great skill, but I’ve also become addicted to seeing the responses of those who view my efforts.  “You just whipped this dress up for the party?” they say. 
“Oh yes,” I respond as I look down demurely.  “It was nothing.” 
“You’re incredible!!  I could never do anything like this.”
A smile will cross my face as if to say, “Yeah, I know.  I’m great. I can pretty much make anything out of nothing.  I am soooooo creative.”  My ego puffs out its chest grandly and with a toss of its head I’m off to find the next victim whom I can impress with my exceptional skills.
And yet….I’d like to think I’ve learned a thing or two over the years, not only about sewing, but about being human. 
This morning I awoke early to a quiet house.  A perfect time to steal downstairs to my sewing room and make a bonnet for my dear granddaughter Margot’s first birthday.  I’ve selected an old-fashioned prairie pattern and am making it out of a modern, dotted cotton.  It will be adorned with the same lace from her mama’s wedding dress.  Just looking at the combination makes me smile.  I go to the sewing machine that was my mother’s.  I love the hum of the machine as it travels along the fabric.  I watch my hands as they guide the lace and cotton.  I marvel at the transformation from two-dimension to three and the way the ribbon pulls through the lace to gather it just right.  I am lost in the process of folding, ironing, sewing and cutting.  I am filled with gratitude to my mother for teaching me this wonderful skill and feel her spirit guide me as I sew.  I imagine Margot and how beautiful she will look in this bonnet as she stares at me in her soulful way that only Margot can do. 
And not once, do I imagine someone saying, “Oh, I am so impressed by your skill.”
Finally, I am learning that it is so much more gratifying to be lost in the present than to be lost in thoughts of how others will respond to me or what I accomplish. 
Finally, I can enjoy the sensory experience as I watch the fabric respond to my hands, listen to the scissors snip the threads and feel the tug as the machine pulls the lace. 
Finally, (and maybe for only a moment) I can be free of my starving ego and simply enjoy the here and now. 
Finally, I am here where I ought to be.

1 comment:

  1. Stitch your stress away and may your bobbins always be full! Margot's beautiful!