Truth in ‘ill-matched threads’

Life as Art: ill-matched threads

She who reconciles the ill-matched threads of her life, and weaves them gratefully into a single cloth…..

Rainer Maria Rilke

That line of poetry has been rolling over and over in my head for a week now. It speaks to me for obvious reasons as a maker of textiles, but the sharper truth is that I have a great number of ill-matched threads in my life, and I struggle – often neither gratefully nor gracefully – to reconcile them.

The demands and the joys of motherhood, the imperative to make us a living with a complete lack of sovereignty over my workspace, laughter and play and muddy feet and carpets and elderly cats with bladder issues. Etcetera.

The hope I find here, though, is possibility. I have been guilty at times of assuming that the best I can achieve with the threads available to me is a skewed and lumpy rag, fit only to be hidden under the sink for private and menial use. I’ve wished for different threads, felt ashamed to hold mine up alongside the smooth, glittering perfection of others. I’ve managed little sections of silky loveliness, only to feel despair and frustration when all that’s left to continue with that day is a kinked and prickly hemp twine.

The hope I hold on to is the image of the weaver (and it might just as well be knitting, crochet, or any other means of creating cloth), not judging her threads, grateful to have them as they are, using her creative soul and skill and ingenuity to work them into a unique and lovely textile; a sturdy, yet flexible cloth with fascinating textures and mesmerising eddies of colour. A cloth that is, like any great art, exactly what it needs to be – no more, no less.

received from Thank you.

How often I feel like this, that what I have to work with doesn’t really amount to much. This woman had only a box of ointment, yet she did what she could, regardless of how others judged.

Mark 14:3-9  And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the  burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

bold/underlining mine

This is what we are responsible for: doing what we can with what we have for the glory of God.

PS  This is the only post I’ve read from Knitting on Impluse, so I don’t know any other content of the blog.

Published in: on June 16, 2010 at 11:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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