What Do You Do?

What do you do

When a threadbare world

Begins to fray

And understanding whirl?


What do you do

When the threads pull apart

Memories of old

Leaping up from the heart?


What do you do

When new spoken stitches

Pull right through

Forgotten from the start?


What do you do

When the fabric of your life

Once young and strong

Unravels before your eyes?


I’ll stand on the warp

As the weft disintegrates

Catching all the threads I can

For my own memory bank.


Though someday it may too

Dissolve into thin air

Oh what do you do

But stitch another prayer?




It is one thing to find threads unraveling or fraying on their own. It is quite another to take scissors in hand and actually cut away, or fray them yourself.

Yet this fragment called for it. Indeed I wanted to see the underneath, the layers laid down before. I may do this technique again as I’m not certain I achieved exactly what I was after. But then, this practice of slow stitching is not about that.

It is about discovery. It is about taking up the needle and making marks on the fabric in the present moment with little to no forethought as to outcome. It is about allowing the stitches to speak.

And so they did. I stitched in the midst of fraying realities…a mind, a relationship, emotional stability…all places where we are left wondering what to do, where to begin, how to continue.

As my needle drew lines, made marks, deposited colors, I was guided, led. Some threads thick and strong. Other threads thin and weak. Cutting away the top layers made me wonder if all our frayed places in life serve to reveal something beautiful underneath.

Surely I do not want the fraying, the slow ripping apart of what once was strong. But in accepting what is, I can begin to see what might be underneath it all. And I may even find it is something lovely….certainly different than before, but nevertheless another fabric in which to continue stitching. 💚

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