22,176 stitches at 20 st/in, overall 5″x10″, 10 colors, 28 tapestry,
started: 9/30, finished: 11/19
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
— Maya Angelou
This Sunday morning, refreshed from that extra hour of sleep yet somehow still exhausted, these words came to me:
There’s no pretense with poetry here. I am in awe of most literature and vigorously attempt to devour more than my fair share, yet I must fully admit that I cower dumbfounded in intellectual admiration when interacting with poems, in particular. Some time on a therapist’s couch may clarify why it’s like kryptonite? Fragments stay with me though, popping up into my head and pressing me to return to the text to mull again. [Here‘s the rest of that one above.]
Recently we chatted about the swirling storm of stuff going on everywhere–the world, the pipeline, the election, in RealLife and RealJob. Sure we’re all a little untethered from time to time, but this is a sustained moment of unease and in no realm is there a clear path through. It is so easy to get caught up in the minutia because the smallest of things are all that we can manage.
Even my meditative project is just 22,176 tiny achievable bits that may amount to something eventually. Slowly finding my face in there, I’m still enjoying the process. And yet ceasing to fret over each pixel, lifting my head, and taking a bird’s eye view from time to time would improve the outcome immensely.
And I think cranky old Wordsworth would agree. Introspection and selfish self-care have merits but eventually I should pull my head out of my a**, be in nature, and re-center on stuff that truly matters. …ahem… It’s too bad it takes a mistake or two to remind me of this.
Stitchery alone cannot save one from venting stress in inappropriate ways. (And sometimes heartfelt direct apologies in response do not suffice. *sigh*) What to do? It’s difficult to readjust amid the din but it’s wholly worthwhile and necessary to try.
Maybe Thoreau has a suggestion…?