Listening to quiet. 


Stitching is a quiet and soothing activity. It is meditative in nature, the world becomes each stitch. The needle emerges, gets a small tug, and then is pushed back through, again and again. It is a slow and steady activity. Expressing ideas with needle and thread is rewarding. Lines become images, small stitches become marks, flecks of color.

Peach likes to sit on my work.


I am recovering from a loss. It has not been easy to connect with my creativity, to access and engage with my creative center. I find solace in stitch, it is helping me re-member. Stitch is  populating my mind and pushing the old and stale to the perimeter, and out. Thankfully.

Quiet is helping me reconnect, rebuild and be present. 

Since being diagnosed with breast cancer, I have felt a sense of panic. It is as if I fear not having the time to do my ‘life’s work’. As if I need to do all of ‘The Things’ -right now-, because I may not be able to do them later. This has the effect of putting pressure on myself to perform. Making, art, being an artist takes time, it can’t be rushed or forced. My husband, my Man, gave me a great pep talk this weekend, he reminded me just to make stuff, not to think about what I want to do with it, but to just do it. I needed to hear this. It is so good to love a good man.


I am just making stuff. I may not even call it art. I don’t want to do anything with it. And even if I just go through the motions, I trust I will find comfort, solace and peace in simply making. I am willing to watch ‘this’ unfold.

9 thoughts on “Listening to quiet. 

  1. What a wonderful comfort to receive from the person you love! He is a keeper! I wish you all the best is just being, just creating. I think some of the best art comes from just being. I look forward to sharing the journey with you because I do hope you will continue to share!


  2. I, too, can feel panic at the thought of not having time, or no longer being around, to do all the things I want to do. My way to calm myself is to simply acknowledge the fact that by then it won’t matter, will it? It’s not like I’m going to spin in my grave or sit on a piece of cloud and think “Oh, I wish I’d had more time to finish my Life’s Work”. I find some comfort in this thought. (Perhaps I’m weird.) I’ve come to realise that no matter how much time I’m given, I will always come up with so many more projects that I still won’t have enough time. I’m trying to change my way of thinking that I don’t have TIME for everything to “I don’t have time for EVERYthing”. Do what you need to do, and the the rest will take care of itself.


  3. I have been realizing that the pressure I put on myself has only made me procrastinate. I took the pressure off about a year ago. And while my output is pretty low, I work at stitch projects when they call to me. I am feeling more relaxed about this approach and the reality is my work life takes a lot of my energy. Which leaves only the dregs for creativity. But I am scheduling creative times on my weekends and have been following those times and creating! And it feels wonderful. It is a slow re-emergence into what I love to do. The projects have been all over the place but that is not important to me. What is important is the creative process and all the meditative benefits it brings. Hugs Melanie, sorry for your loss. Time passes, you might as well be creative.


  4. Such a wise man is Mr. D. I am often amazed at how timely your posts are, how they coincide with where I am or what I am thinking. After Dad passed, all I could think about was loosing my first supporter and secondly, all the wood he had left in his shop. What did he plan to do with it or did he have a plan. Dad could look at a piece of wood, smell it, and know what tree gave its life. It would amaze me and I would try to stump him by buying a piece from Brazil or a “trash tree” like locust or Russian Olive. He didn’t always know the answer, but he would laugh and then point out the beauty of the wood. During this reflection on Dad, my mentor and second Mom fell. She was diagnosed with advanced dementia. We all suspected but were afraid to face the truth. Her studio is jammed packed with 70 years of creating. She planned to sew until the last breath left her. Now she sits staring out the window in a nursing home unaware of who I am or how important she is to me.
    All of this put me in a panic. I had to make, to create ART, to become the person I always wanted to be. I froze. I made a few things, but they didn’t excite me. I was going through the motions. So I took a clue from a wise woman in Brooklyn, and started cleaning. While I’ve been cleaning, sorting, purging, and saving, I’ve thought. I realized that the pressure I was putting on myself was insane and not helpful. Now I am gathering. Mostly I am gathering the courage to explore. To try things, to learn things, to make crap. The end goal is to find what I really want to make and then do it until I die. I don’t want to look back 10/15/20 years from now and say I wish…………. I want to think back and be grateful that I gave myself room to be.


  5. Such wise words. I’ve dicovered I can be a real beotch to myself when I think I’m falling behind or failing and at those time I realize Imw being too serious And it’s time to let go. Creativit rarely flourishes under such demands. That’s left brain recordings. This is not to say paying customer deadlines don’t deserve my due diligence but the added meanspiritedness of the ego is unnecessary. The quiet stitching and thinking puts time back into perspective. Thank you for this uplifting reminder!


  6. You seem to be dealing with your sense of loss in a very positive and constructive way. Your everyday activities are part of your life’s work and are part of your art. Your interactions with Peach, your man, and your friends can be considered works of art, in a way. It’s wonderful that your guy said to just play. Make fun and pretty things and see what comes next and don’t worry about a time frame.


  7. I go through periods where I think I HAVE TO PRODUCE, and it generally stifles my creativity. When I just do it for the joy of creating, I free the muse and we are able to do the dance… end result is usually much more rewarding. Your Man is definitely a keeper, and it’s obvious that you share a very special love for each other! Listen to him and give yourself over to the joy and pleasure of playful creativity… we’re right there with you in spirit, Miss Melly!


  8. I understand some of the fear of not having time to create everything in time. I’ve not gone through cancer, but I do have illnesses and disabilities that keep me from doing some of the things I used to do while making more aware of the time I have left. It is hard to let go. Like some of the other commenters, I have put some pressure on myself and it does stifle creativity. like you, I am trying to be in the moment, to let my art flow. I now do yoga every day, which was hard at first. Slowly, I am becoming more flexible; I’m learning to slow down, breathe deeply, and I’m trying to approach my fiber Art in the same way.


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