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Sewing as a Spiritual Practice


Somewhere at the end of a thirteen hour workday, there is peace. After the phones, the email, the commute, and the drudgery, there is the machine, and where the machine meets the fabric, there is a measure of happiness.

Projects come and go, sometimes before they're ever finished; no point going too far down the wrong path. Some sewing earns money, some of it even prepaid, but it's never just about the money. It can't be. It must be about the work, the quality, the sense of internal harmony that comes as I watch the foot glide down the seamline. 

Away from the needle plate, I am split, scattered, overworked; but there at the machine, I have some control. If I measured it right, and cut it right, and kept my seams straight and even, I will get the result. And as I go, I learn more and more, until I can change the patterns and adapt the designs and build things that better suit me. And that makes me happy.

But there's something else. The more I can control my sewing, the more confidence I gain for other aspects of my work. Every time someone compliments my work, I grow a little. Every time someone offers me money for my designs, I move a little closer to the day that sewing is all I do, everything I need.

My focus on the foot may seem obsessive, and maybe sometimes it is, but as I zoom in on the seamline, my problems can't hold on, and a lot of them go flitting off into space, never to return. I am achieving, I am doing well at doing well. I shift from a human doing to a human being, simultaneously creating and being re-created by the work. 

It is a fine, fine place to be. I highly recommend it.

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