Nancy draws:

4 60 7

Then I stitch:


In all the years I’ve known her, I’ve never seen Nancy draw. She used to write her name, my name, Andy’s name, Penny’s name, Donn and Carole’s names. She’d write our birthdays, too – all without any prompting. But this time she drew.

And drew.

And drew.

It was meditative drawing, there’s no doubt about that.

Stitching does that for me. The up and down of the needle going back and forth across the cloth – that’s a rhythm that provides a space for me to drift off into reverie, to plumb the depths of my wonderings. Stitching is meditation for me. I am deeply connected with cloth and thread, with stitching which has long been considered women’s work.

“the hands know,
the materials too,
quite apart from your imaginings,
less or more than your intentions –
following the pattern that emerges,
the story as it tells.”
Jane Whiteley

You know, I get to select the cloth I’ll use, the color of thread, even the particular needle. Nancy uses what is put in front of her. Sometimes the possibilities, the vast array of choices overwhelm me to the point of shutdown. Nancy didn’t seem affected one little bit about having no choices. Maybe she’s used to using what’s put in front of her, of not having choices. Sometimes less really is more. Sometimes creativity thrives with boundaries. Sometimes the imagination romps long and wildly within certain restrictions.


She is my developmentally disabled sister-in-law, Nancy,
and I am Jeanne, the woman who flat-out loves her.
Go here to start at the beginning and read your way current.
And there’s a pinterest board, too.