“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Crafted with Love

For the last couple of months, I have been stitching away at a beautiful cross-stitch project. It's called Indian Summer Reflection; it was designed by Martina Weber of Chatelaine Design, and it is exquisite. It's in the form of a mandala, and I'm working from the centre outwards. Last night, I got to a certain point, and decided to take a photo of it and post it in a stitching group I'm a member of on Facebook. But because I'm not particularly au fait with posting photos and such, I posted it to my own timeline first, then shared it with the group.

And received a beautiful benediction from a Facebook friend: "patiently creating such a lovely mandala is a great way to honour your life, your achievements and who you are."

Which made me think about the power of creative art of all kinds to transform lives, not only those of people who see the finished work, but also those of the crafters and artists. I certainly feel at peace when I am stitching and try to stitch mindfully.

And then, by that marvellous serendipity that I am learning to recognise as grace, another friend posted these words by Kent Nerburn, from his Letters to my Son:

"I can measure my life by the moments when art transformed me—standing in front of Michelangelo’s Duomo pieta, listening to Dylan Thomas read his poetry, hearing Bach’s cello suites for the first time.
But not only there.

Sitting at a table in a smoky club listening to Muddy Waters and Little Walter talk back and forth to each other through their instruments…standing n a clapboard gift shop on the edge of Hudson Bay staring at a crudely carved Inuit image of a bear turning into a man.
... It can happen anywhere, anytime. You do not have to be in some setting hallowed by greatness, or in the presence of an artist honored around the world. Art can work its magic any time you are in the presence of a work created by someone who has gone inside the act of creation to become what they are creating. When this takes place time stands still and if our hearts are open to the experience, our spirits soar and then our imaginations fly unfettered.

You need these moments if you are ever to have a life that is more than the sum of the daily moments of humdrum affairs. 
If you can create these moments—if you are a painter or a poet or a musician or an actor [or a dancer]—you carry within you a prize of great worth. If you cannot create them, you must learn to love one of the arts in a way that allows the power of another’s creation to come alive within you."
 And I felt as though God himself had reached down and pasted a star on my forehead.

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