Sewing Circles

sewingby Kate Lucas

Awhile ago, when the leaves were falling and my Friday night was as wide open as Lake Superior, I wrote about solo living and the seeming loss of community in our busy, independent lives.  Well, a couple months have passed.  The snow has blanketed everything with the wet, heavy stuff (which I’m sure the Eskimos have the perfect word for).  And I have made some strides in building community.  I have found a way to ensure I welcome friends into my living room at least somewhat regularly.  Shortly after my post about loneliness, an idea took shape, perhaps best explained as a modern day quilting circle … but different. 

With this group of women there is no quilting, no knitting, no books.  We simply meet once a month, sit in circle, and have a conversation that is more intentional and thoughtful than we are often able to have in busy daily living.  Each of us is given a chance to speak uninterrupted, to explore ideas and themes that seem to be emerging in our lives—things that can be hard to see while wrapped up in our everyday routine.  Then we all reflect back to each other the themes and insights we see in each other.  

There is a sacredness to this time.  It seems to illuminate not only the couple of hours we are in circle but the rest of the month as well.  Surely this speaks to the wisdom and energy of the women in the group.  But it also speaks to the practice of stepping back, taking life in, and getting a bigger perspective.  Some of the power lies in the circle, too.  A circle is egalitarian.  Everyone faces everyone, so all are give our full attention.  We place a candle and our best intentions in the center while we remain at the rim, a humbling illustration of our place in the order of things.  Circle in many ways is a feminine way of knowing and communicating, void of hierarchy and the primacy of linear thinking.  It is empowering to embody, and quite a different spiritual experience than sitting in a pew facing the backs of people’s heads and the priest all the way up front. 

Perhaps most profoundly, the experience speaks to the sacredness of being fully present to each other, taking the time to weave connections that become stronger and more intricate, less apt to fall apart when the going gets tough.  This work doesn’t come easy in disjointed daily living, not without intention and practice.  At least not for a girl who doesn’t quilt.    

Kate Lucas knits from time to time, but she has never learned to quilt.  She admires quilters though, and cherishes the quilt her Aunt Beth gave her when she first left home for college.

Photo credits to www.labelleavenue.com, a super cool quilting and craft site.

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One Response

  1. Seems true that “weaving” real and deep connections can be considered akin to quilting and sewing circles – which have most always been inhabited by women. Why is it that women so often seem more capable… or at the very least, more inclined…. to connecting in these deep and meaningful ways? A question to consider even more… perhaps in your circle… because for both men and women alike, it’s important. In my experience, I’ve found that sacredness is not so much “pursued” in being fully present to each other…. but that rather, sacredness cannot help but flower and come alive in that space between us, when we are giving each other our whole selves and receiving each others’ whole selves. This, I feel, is the truest and most sacred love. This is where the God in me joins with the God in you. In this, we become aware of and “weave,” in a conscious way, the connections that live between us always… whether we are conscious of them or not.

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