Seed Stitches

I thread
the needle and
spirit passes into
matter returning to
the center of
the (w)hole

I twine
the floss around
the needle—one two three–
casting strands into knots
spelling rhythmic
patterns

I pause
to connect what
lies hidden below the
coiled surface—roots binding
up and down to
between

The Kick-About prompt this time was The Ashley Book of Knots, below. It’s been a long time since I did any macrame, but I love to embroider, entranced by everything about it–the floss itself, the color and texture, the rhythmic and repetitive motions that are so like meditation, the gradual revelation of something new.

I’ve done a lot of embroidery on paper, but I couldn’t remember ever trying French Knots, also called Seed Stitch. My mandala papers are fairly sturdy, so I painted one, inspired by Monet, and searched through my embroidery floss boxes for similar colors.

Besides their practical and decorative uses, knots can symbolize many things, from the vows of marriage, to a puzzle to be solved. They are connected to threads of all kinds, and thus the interweavings that form and support all of life.

The French Knot is a simple stitch–wind the floss 3 times around the needle and reinsert it into the hole made by bringing the thread to the surface–but like many simple things, it’s easy to become tangled up if you aren’t paying attention. Something that applies to all creative endeavors involving fibers.

I’ve used the Badger’s Hexastitch form for my poem.

9/11

 

jizo s

For 9/11, I’ve chosen my embroidery of Jizo, the Japanese god who helps to heal hearts and lives in times of darkness and grief.

Jizo personifies the Bodhisattva Vow to save all beings from suffering.  He works especially to save the souls of children who have died before their parents.  In Japan, stone Jizo statues are often adorned with children’s clothing and surrounded by offerings of flowers and toys, both as protection for a dead child and in gratitude for the saving of a child’s life.

Jizo is guardian of mothers, children, travelers, pilgrims, and–very appropriately to this day of remembering–firemen.

leaves rattle like bones
through bottomless clarity–
azure autumn sky

 

This is a reblog of my very first 9/11 post in 2014, adding the haiku from my post in 2017, which echoes always my memories of that morning here in NYC.