Tag: In Our Own Language 4 (Page 1 of 2)

What Now?


Every time we visit Nancy,
I bring home a set of drawings.
First I scan them
then label them by set and drawing number
then I print them
and pin them to the fabric.


I stitch through the paper
then pluck the paper off
using lighted tweezers to get the teensy little bits out.

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I stitched two drawings a night,

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and when we got sick
and sat on the sofa all day,

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I stitched more than two,
so I finished more than a week ahead of schedule.

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It was quite satisfying
to have a quota, a schedule, a plan
and meet it.

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There are 95 drawings in In Our Own Language 4,
and I have no idea how to assemble them
now that I’ve stitched them all.
This is known as Entering The Unknown.
I’ve been in and out of The Unknown so many times,
I’m not too worried.
I’ll see something that sparks an idea
or dream up an image
or somebody will say “Why don’t you . . . “
and I’ll be off and running again.
So if you have any ideas . . .

back in the saddle


we walked today, the engineer and i. walked for the first time since thanksgiving, really. holidays – travel – family – rain – coughing, coughing, and more coughing have put my fitbit on a pretty strict diet. i’ve missed walking. sure i’ve had 2 hours of found time to stitch every day, but walking is kindling. i solve problems when i walk. i get ideas when i walk. i clear cobwebs and make connections when i walk. i think at least 7 impossible thoughts every time i take a walk.

sometimes we walk up the falls and get our shoes muddy.
sometimes we walk in the gym and dodge basketballs.
sometimes we walk 4-8 laps through the grocery store before filling a cart with foodstuffs.
many night we walk laps around the sofa and dining room table and kitchen island.
sometimes – like today – we walk the aisles at lowe’s. the engineer drools his way down every aisle, and he never comes away empty-handed. me? i just wish fabric stores were as big with well-lit and well-defined aisles cause i’d like to walk, drool, and shop, too. i believe i could do it. i believe i’d be good at it.

i did not escape my notice that the snow shovels, sleds, and ice melt were directly across from – no more than 2 feet, i’m telling you – the seed packets and starter sets. doesn’t that just crack you up?

the good news is i’ve got my walking on again – feeding my fitbit regularly – and that’s a good thing. maybe i’ll even add that 15 minutes of yoga first thing every morning i’ve been dreaming about then pop a handful of almonds and enjoy a mid-afternoon (think 3:00) workout with resistance bands. cross your fingers. it’d be nice to do it for real instead of just in my imagination.

and all the while in the background, nancy still draws, and i still stitch.

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In Our Own Language 4:34

What Comes Between Starting and Finishing


I am trying to stay on task this year,
having no more than three cloths in the works
at any one time,
finishing one project
before starting another.

(Wish me luck.)

One project must be portable –
able to fit in a small bag
that will fit in my purse or tote
because we travel
– a lot –
Which is why it often takes so long
to cross the finish line.


I am using my machine on some projects,
(I couldn’t’ve finished the Christmas presents
– table runners for my son and his wife –
without the assistance of my sewing machine)
but always there is a bit of hand stitching.

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Stitching In Our Own Language 4
is my night-time stitching project.
If I continue to stitch 2 drawings a night,
I will be finished in 10 days.


It’s quite satisfying to lay out a plan
and stick to it
and quite satisfying to complete things.
It’s a feeling I want to experience
more often this year.


If It Is Not Too Dark

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Go for a walk, if it is not too dark.
Get some fresh air, try to smile.
Say something kind
To a safe-looking stranger, if one happens by.

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Always exercise your heart’s knowing.
You might as well attempt something real
Along this path:

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Take your spouse or lover into your arms
The way you did when you first met.
Let tenderness pour from your eyes
The way the Sun gazes warmly on the earth.

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Play a game with some children.
Extend yourself to a friend.
Sing a few ribald songs to your pets and plants –
Why not let them get drunk and wild!

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Let’s toast
Every rung we’ve climbed on Evolution’s ladder.
Whisper, “I love you! I love you!”
To the whole mad world.

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Let’s stop reading about God –
We will never understand Him.

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Jump to your feet, wave your fists,
Threaten and warn the whole Universe
That your heart can no longer live
Without real love!



In Our Own Language 4:27-33

Nancy, my developmentally disabled sister-in-law draws.
I, the woman who flat-out loves her, stitch her drawings.



The body is a sensing instrument of consciousness.
Without the body and the mind, the trees couldn’t see themselves.


Usually we think that we are looking at a tree,
but the tree is looking at itself through us.


Without this instrument,
the tree doesn’t get to see itself.


We are the sensing instruments of the Divine.

– Adyashanti

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In Our Own Language 4:24
Nancy, my developmentally disabled sister-in-law, draws.

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I, the woman who flat-out loves her, stitch.

A(nother) Squeaky New Beginning


Happy New Year from Jeanne and Nancy

Every New Year’s Day, my Grandmother would finish breakfast, get lunch on to cook, then take her seat in the chair underneath the telephone. She’d pull out the baby blue zippered 3-ring binder that held all sorts of important information, turn to the curled-up page where she’d written all the family phone numbers, and put her finger beside the name at the top. Carefully, making sure she got the number right, she dialed one number after another.

“Hello?” answered the receiving party.

“Hello. Is this 1-9-7-6?” Grandmother would ask, clamping her hand over her mouth so the person on the other end would take her seriously.

“No,” they’d say, thinking she was referring to a phone number, “this is 5321.”

“Oh yes, it is so 1976,” she’d say, “check the calendar,” her laughter erupting as she slammed down the phone. She’d take a few deep, satisfied breaths to collect herself before dialing the next number on the list.

New Year’s Day is the only day my grandmother ever turned prankster, and she wore that year-turned-telephone number prank slap out. Today, ignoring caller id because that’s not important to the memory, my cousin Stacy and I race to call each other on New Year’s Day, asking simply, “Is this 2-0-1-6?”, laugh, and hang up.


Happy New Year, y’all. I hope you’ve had your black eyed peas and turnip greens and pork cause there’s no need in tempting fate. But listen here: whatever resolutions you make, whatever resolutions you break, may 2016 hold delight around every turn. May you laugh more than you cry. And may you never question – or let anyone else question – your worthiness.

Now let’s get on out there and have ourselves a big time, why don’t we.


Doesn’t matter what day of the year it is, Nancy and I continue doing what we do . . .

Nancy draws:

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And I stitch:

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And we watch to see where that carries us.

Inner Authority

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In Our Own Language 4:10

His grandfather took him into the woods and left him in the quiet all day long. At the end of the day, his grandfather would fetch him and ask: What did you see? What did you feel? What did you learn?

You can learn a lot from reading and listening and watching, but you develop your Inner Authority from doing.

Though she has many external authorities in her life, Nancy also has an Inner Authority. I can see it when she makes her marks – the way she starts without hesitation, the way she stops when she knows she’s finished, the way she selects her colors and turns the page and sometimes rips the page into pieces, keeping the bits she likes while discarding the rest.


She (Nancy, my developmentally disabled sister-in-love) draws.
I (Jeanne, the woman who flat-out loves her) stitch.

I Mean It


In Our Own Language 4:9

We All know a lot more than we think we do
and Wisdom is buried inside Each One of Us.
All we need is a way to make Art,
a Good Listener
or a Good Looker
Someone to Witness us
to help the Knowledge and the Wisdom
to emerge and flow.

PS: And hey,
if anybody ever tells you junk that sounds like
you shouldn’t care what others think,
or how you shouldn’t care if anybody
ever even sees your creations
know 2 things:
their inner moron is showing
they’ve had good witnesses somewhere along the way.
Witnesses they’ve forgotten about
and never appreciated enough.


She (Nancy, my developmentally disabled sister-in-love) draws.
I (Jeanne, the woman who flat-out loves her) stitch.

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Hey, Sugar! I'm Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: writer ~ stitcher ~ storyteller ~ one-woman performer ~ creator & founder of The 70273 Project, and I'm mighty glad you're here. Make yourself at home, and if you have any questions, just holler.

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