Throughout 2016, I spent a lot of time working on trying to repair the relationship between myself and my parents. It was a mixed bag and concluded without much success. In fact, I think my efforts actually made it worse… because in attempting to heal what was broken, I was highlighting the fact that something was, which is largely why, at 40, I still have issues and genuine pain whenever I think or speak about my parents.
I love them. I long for them… But I cannot condone their behaviour, both past and present. And, anyway… regardless… they are happy to live mostly, and have long done so, without me in their lives.
However, at the end of December 2017 my mother sent me an email detailing a one-year sewing challenge hosted on both Facebook and Instagram. It was called: 1 year of stitches: 2017. Believing it to be a white flag, an invitation to work together on something beautiful, a chance to inhabit a clean space without drama or conflict… I signed up, despite having other commitments more pertinent to my life path. I would and always will drop everything for her.
A week later, my mother quit… quietly and without ceremony. And that was that.
Stubbornly, devoutly: I stitched on… continuing to show up – at first daily, then bi-weekly – for a whole year, because even though she, the only person I really wanted to be sewing with, the only communication I wanted to forge, had dropped me, I couldn’t bear to drop me too. And also, the support from others in the group was quite wonderful. They were and are so kind.
In the end it ended up being a stream of consciousness… honestly revealing and detailing the mundane, magnificent and minutiae of my life: large and small, relevant and irrelevant. Secrets, wishes, dreams, desires, goals, promises, prayers: it contains them all.
And, because honesty is important to me – mostly because I grew up in an environment where one’s truth was not always welcome and more often than not punishable – I have documented it, journal-style, accompanying each fresh stitch or series of stitches with around 100-2000 words.
For now, this project is hosted and posted on Facebook and Instagram. And only available for private sale.
In the future, it will be available for purchase as an ebook and as a coffee table book both on iTunes and Amazon.
• See the original invitation from the challenge’s creator.
• Follow the work as it continues:
– on Facebook
– on Instagram: #1yearofstitches
• To see my work, visit my Instagram and Facebook.
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