I am the thing that makes you snap. I am where you rest, where you wander, where you wrestle. Who you are is a sum of all of the little things that I have ever done or been done to me. I am the one thing that makes you boil, bleed, churn, and keeps you awake at night. The time you spend staring at the ceiling at night is all because of me – I can’t rest, so neither can you.  I am the thing inside of you that screams when you are abandoned, wronged or awakened.  I am the thing that –in your agony – tears you apart, quietly ripping tendon from bone, patiently awaiting your surrender. I am the thing that – in your joy – gingerly stitches you back together, one piece at a time, in solitude and in the community of those around you. Along the way, I may miss some pieces – letting them fall to the sewing room floor, but that’s ok. It is in your missing pieces authenticity is born. In the end, you are whole. In the end, you and I are ok. You will learn to love me. It may take time, but I will always be near with needle and thread.

 

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You mix me, make me, stitch me, stamp me, bind me, create me from within your being. Carefully you lean over your drafting table, hour after hour. The tension grows in your back and your eyes begin to strain. Your eyes are losing patience with you; drying out little by little. The clock in the corner ticks. The later the hour, the louder the tick. In the silence of your studio, the tick begins to echo in your ears. The graphite dwindles away. Your blade becomes dull and your patience runs thin. “What am I even doing?” you whisper, “this looks awful.”  You slip off of your stool or out of your chair. You stand two strides away from your desk and stretch your hands high until you feel the tension in your back release, your lungs open – pulling and twisting from their previously cramped position – allowing them to rise and fall in their full capacity. Ok. Calm down. Take a lap. Some nights it’s two table spoons of Nescafe and warm water (due to impatience) and others it’s a capful of Tanqueray splashed over two partially dried out lemon slices. Of course, this depends on the mood. You settle back into your chair and I watch. I wait to see what you will do next. The clock ticks.  “Perfection” you whisper, “nothing short of perfection.” In that moment I see it, something in your eye. I may be the only one who can. I’m the only one who knows…you love this. You love to make, to labor, to let your high spirits dwindle in the name of a well-made thing. No one else sees it, but I do. That fire, a humble flame, smoldering somewhere behind your sternum – it’s the thing that keeps you going. The clock ticks. The flame burns. Nothing can stop the cadence of your making now. You are in love.

 

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