"My Other Great Love"
I am a romantic through and through. And, yes, Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday. This is a hard thing to admit since there are so many out there who feel like Valentine's Day was created by card companies to make lots of money. Well, this may be so. But I believe if we have the opportunity to celebrate those we love...well then, why not? I don't have to buy a card from a card store...Plus, everything is pink and red which are two of my favorite colors...and there are just so many things to love about love.
As I was beading February's BJP, I wanted to pay homage to the other great love of my life. My first, of course, is my husband. And yes, I have been blessed with a great marital love. But I also have another that rivals the first; and evidence of this love is everywhere around me. And, there are very, very many similarities between my two great loves.
And so, I suppose it goes without saying that my other great love is my needle "work" -- yet for me, it's hardly "work"-- I'd rather it be needle "joy" or needle "love" or needle "play". And, I suppose, on a really good day, someone somewhere might call it art -- I'm not sure what that is -- for somehow, I feel that for something to be designated as art, it is decided elsewhere...by some council or accrediting body -- certainly not by oneself. Anyway...
I have passion for textiles, for needle and thread, for embroidery. I have an emotional connectivity with my needles, fabrics and threads that gives me great delight, support and friendship. When I can't be with with my needlework, then I'm constantly thinking of it and dreaming about what I will do when I finally get to spend time playing.
My needleplay fills my life. I am devoted to it. I live for it. And I hope to live the rest of my life with it by my side. For better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health...you get the picture.
This is a serious relationship and one I began to explore for my February BJP. It started as a desire to use that fine piece of metallic blue silk ruffle ribbon, then that sequined pink netting, and that art deco-like bead applique. These were precious bits of history, someone else's handwork, that somehow needed to be honored.
It was a joy to be with this project and express my love for all things needle-worthy.
And, in my contemplation of this other great love of mine, I realized how I could learn a few things from my love-of-needle; things that might help me in my First Great Love -- in my relationship with Jim, my husband.
-- Both loves require creativity -- some days I just need to show up and surround myself only with him and see what comes of it. If he becomes my focus, suddenly all kinds of worlds open up to me that I could not foresee.
-- Both loves require me to relinquish control. One thing leads to another. I pick up a particular thread, use it, and it changes the course of my creation. Likewise, if I am fully present with Jim, and I follow what he says or does, then the two of us are improvising and arriving somewhere together. The two of us in control, not me alone.
-- Both loves take effort and dedication. Today, I will love this man, though I may be tired. I will love him even when his ribbons are wrinkled and his colors are faded. I can find something here to love even though it may not be what I expected when I walked in...I can create love anew with the materials that are laid before me.
-- Both loves require that I just show up and I say "yes" -- that I put the time in. That I set aside other agendas and I make time just for him. I show up to "work" on our relationship just as I show up to "work" on a project -- if I'm lucky, it all evolves into play...
-- Both loves require me to apply myself -- to be completely present. To delight in the moment and for being alive -- for being able to create -- a garment, a project, a life...
But the similarity that I think I love most of all...is that both loves require finishing touches.
Whether it be a bead or a button that is perfectly placed...or a hug or a kiss on the cheek at just the right moment... This attention to detail, this attention to Jim -- moves us from something that is ordinary -- to a moment that makes life full and abundant, that makes life extraordinary.
And therein lies peace...happiness...and great love. And the greatest of these...is love.
Friday, March 13, 2009
"My Other Great Love"