Sunday, February 28, 2010

With My Needle & Thread


Pen on paper,
Brush on canvas,
Needle, thread, and cloth,
Bow on strings,
Fingertips on clay,
Graceful toe en pointe,
Chisel on stone,
Camera on subject,
Voices in a cathedral...

Passed from generation to generation, teacher to student, these artistic elements reach into the heart of what it means to be human. At the very core of our beings, we are all artistic, creative, and blessed with individual gifts and talents.

I sew. I write. Sometimes I get lucky and capture a beautiful picture with my camera. Writing comes to me naturally, a gift inherited from my father. I can't sing a note, play an instrument, or paint a picture... but I have a heartfelt appreciation for those who can.


Last Sunday afternoon, the Cub Scouts met in a church basement. As our meeting came to order, we heard the strains of a violin. Then, another. We realized that Pastor Ron Nelson was holding a rehearsal for his "Borderline Strings" upstairs in the sanctuary. In addition to his many other talents, Pastor Ron teaches violin to anybody who wants to learn. He loves to begin with elementary age children, and many of his students remain with his group through high school. His only requirement is faithful attendance at practice. The children and teens perform at a variety of community events, and their talent is phenomenal.

As the graceful notes from the violins met my untrained ears, I felt a little melancholy about my lack of musical ability. Then, I considered that although the violin is not my chosen instrument, I do have a needle and thread. And, a pen and paper. With practice, patience, and occasional inspiration, I can express myself in a meaningful way.
Keep in mind, I was trained in science. Biochemistry, then medicine. I'm pretty comfortable in the world of equations, research papers, hard facts and solid evidence. Comfortable, but not complete.

I never lost sight of my needle and thread. I learned to sew as a teenager, and faithfully reached for my needle and thread during college, med school, residency, and the early years of my medical practice. It was a peaceful escape, a relaxing hobby, something that I never quite let myself consider a priority.

Then, with a lot of help & encouragement from Wesley, I allowed my passion for quilting to grow into what it is today... a pretty significant path in our lives.

Give yourself permission... take some time this week to pursue your hopes & dreams, express your creativity, and make something with your hands.

Your instrument may differ from mine... but it is not the instrument that matters, it is the hand that holds it. And the soul that sings.

Images courtesy of Wikipedia.