She draws:

4 76 1 erased

I stitch:


Once again I’m participating in Nina Marie Sayre’s Off the Wall Friday when instead of showing something we’ve finished, we take our cloth projects off the design wall and look at them in a different light, try something different, maybe even move a little closer towards completion.


“Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.”

Annie Dillard

I spend at least an hour a day on In Her Own Language, and today I spent about two hours clipping cloths to trees, snapping some photos, then removing the cloths, knocking off the spiders, and bringing everything back inside. More than two hours if you count the time spent going to town to fetch more clothespins. And as I hung the cloths in the woods today, I thought about time and how at one point in my life, my identity was based in good part on how busy I was, on how little white space there was on my calendar. As a career Mom, it made me feel needed and special and important that people asked me to do things, to take leadership positions here and there. I felt visible and appreciated. (Didn’t take me long, however, to figure out the difference between being needed and being a sucker.)

Then came the (ridiculous) stage of feeling like I had to justify any expenditure of time in terms of (a) how it would benefit someone else and/or (b) how much money it would become.


Eventually came the stage in my relationship with time when (and we could really call this a thunk on the head moment) I realized that my clock looks just like everybody else’s. I have just as much time as everybody else, the only difference is: I get to choose how to spend my clock. Right then, I stopped saying “I don’t have time” – stopped cold turkey – and replaced it with “If not now, when, Sugar?”

So here I am, choosing to spend hours every single day stitching Nancy’s drawings, writing my books, going to walk. I have several books and plays yet to be written, and I am gathering things for three or four installation pieces I’ll soon begin. Oh sure, I still have responsibilities to tend to, but my job is to live as wide open as possible. And I’m all done with feeling selfish about that.


Oh, I’m using the clothespin bag that belonged to my maternal grandmother. I love that, don’t you? Kinda’ takes me back in time . . .


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.