Lessons of Patience and Perfection

Lessons of patience and perfection float between the world of routine and forgotten memories. Wispy threads of Deja vu' tickle our senses. If we are lucky, a memory stakes its claim.

Battling the threadbare visions of last night’s dream leave tender scars. Lingering out of reach.  Survivors rescued from my hazy subconscious. One by one, they lay in writhing rows, begging to be saved. To be felt.  To be remembered.

In my Grandmother's living room, we sat side by side. Her worn couch sinking beneath my summer tan. The light from the floor to ceiling windows showcased the silver needle being removed from her small, wicker basket.

Her antique coffee table held rows of colorful thread. Patience was  stressed. I could not use them all at once, she told me. My nose scrunched, wondering how long this would take.

She picked a simple red. Bright, yet delicate, pulled from its small spool.  A single piece, short and thin was cut with silver scissors. Her lips coated the end. She explained that this helped. My brown eyes followed her swift movements, squinting along with her own, as she threaded the needle with a steadiness I admired.

My young hands felt a warm confidence, as her touch cradled mine, clutching the embroidery loop. Showing me. Teaching me a skill that came naturally to her. The cotton stretched tight. I listened and waited, distracted by the transparency of our canvas.

The red was entwined through the stark white. Trails of design began, making little sense to me. I eyed the other colors, my childish impatience clouded with eagerness. It was tedious. Detailed.

Vibrant colors wove through the material, as she guided me through my first embroidery lesson. The red, blue, and deep green thread tangled between lessons of patience and perfection.

Focused on the thin feel of the pillowcase, I wondered and worried. Was I doing this correctly? She was calm and corrected my mistakes. Yet, never called them such as she cut the thread I successfully stitched to my shorts - several times.

The steam of frustration escaped through my fingertips.  Burning any chance I had of remaining calm. The pull of perfection felt debilitating. The race of my heart could be heard over her gentle smile. Skillful hands redirected, carrying her craft through my movements.

 

My one regret?  I never told her "Thank you."

Pulling perfection from thin air is an unnecessary struggle. One I fight with everyday.  Plucking  shards of doubt from my writing and pushing away the needle-like uncertainty of perfectionism is exhausting.

My Grandmother's embroidery lesson, the misplaced praise from teachers, or the careful tightrope walk over other's feelings were clouded by a young girl's misconceptions. Ones that bled into adulthood.

Pen, Paper & Parenthood was created once I accepted my dreams as part of my reality,  Now these posts, my book and various short stories breathe a new life into my day. They allow me to handle my ideas, like my Grandmother's colorful thread, "One at a time."

Practice strengthens my patience, as I allow the loose strings to tickle my creativity. Their caress of vitality, cause goosebumps to pebble over my pale skin.

With hard-earned patience, I continue to uncover my imperfect perfections. Each beautifully wrapped in the lessons of buried memories.

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2 Comments

  1. So I have to tell you I am bawling my eyes out right now. I lost my grandma in August and she was a seamstress. She was such a big part of my life and truly more of a parent than a grandparent to me.
    She taught me so many things and I regret every ungrateful moment but I’m so grateful for the memories because I miss her every day.
    Thank you for posting this.