William Morris sees me still tackling projects that were lurking half forgotten in my laundry room. Pitiful, I know! My friend Chris emailed me asking, “How big is your laundry room?” I think she was picturing a gymnasium, but it really isn’t oversized, just over full.
This week I am working on a stack of mending that has been waiting a very long time for my attention. There is something meditative and soothing about mending. If I had remembered this, I might have worked on this project sooner.
I stitch a while in silence and become suddenly aware of the rush of my breath as I exhale in a sigh. Mothering requires so much mending. Just as fabric catches on something sharp and unexpected leaving a long, jagged slash in the cloth sometimes my words catch the feelings of my children. At times my words are clumsy and convey not at all what I wish they had. Sometimes they leave us temporarily torn apart.
One can’t be clumsy when one is mending. One has to focus on the tear making sure the stitches pull both sides of the divide back into one. Small, gentle stitches are required so that the repairs are not visible, so that the fabric doesn’t remain puckered and marked like an ugly scar. This requires attention to detail, that intentional care be taken. It can not be done in haste. No matter how hard a person tries occasionally some of the stitches will still be evident after the repair. Not all tears can be completely hidden. But if one is diligent in her stitching that reinforced patch may become the strongest place in the fabric.