Week 4, Pins and Patience

This is it!  My final week of patience, although my family would like it not to be the end of my patience.  Here’s hoping! 😉

During this week, not only will I attempt to keep practicing all my learning from weeks 1-3, but will also add a ‘big picture’ kind of lens, in which to see a grander vision for what patience might mean in the context of THEM.  During some leadership training at work, I took note of some ‘buzz’ language swirling around the US v.s. THEM mentality, where we often cannot see another person’s perspective because we do not understand the connections and commonalities we share.  The intent for this training was to break down barriers stopping true collaboration and increase valuable diversity of thought, in order to find effective solutions to issues that impact our communities, and potentially, our globe.  Sounds like I am busting out a BIG can of worms….why, yes….I am!

Our country just had a leadership election.  There were some unhappy people exaggerating the platforms of each political party, posting their views on multiple social media sites, which worsened after the election results showed the age-old adversity between ‘the West’ and ‘the East’ still exists. There is a clear geographical divide within our country in regard to culture and values, making it a perfect example of what US v.s THEM is all about.

Voting was tough!  When I read all the promises and platforms of the candidates, I wanted to be convinced that one party was clearly in line with my beliefs. But frankly, they all left me a little disappointed.  I kept wishing for one candidates’ platform to be….”Vote for me and I will work tirelessly with my opposing colleagues to come up with solutions for things we ALL think are important.” Now I would vote for that!  (Perhaps I will run for office next time around, I already have my whole philosophy figured out.)

But, I digress…..oh right, pins and patience, not politics and patience….

Why have I decided to use my mum’s old pin keeper as my icon this week?  It is a bit of a stretch, but stick with me.  (Pins…..Stick….Ha, and moving on)

pins 2

I don’t know where the tin came from, but I know the stories of some things inside.

pins open 2

The black round object is a magnet.  My brother and I used these for our music lessons when we were small.  Mum sat with us at the piano, not able to play herself, but encouraged us to continue.

The shiny, oval, silver headed pin is a hatpin used by ladies a few generations ago, to hold their hats in place to their hair-do’s.  My guess, it was Grandma’s.

Several safety pins are here, as they were in constant supply throughout mum’s dressers, purses, or pockets.  It was like her version of duct tape.  If anything went wrong, she had a safety pin!  I’m that way, too, but not with duct tape or safety pins.  I use twist-ties.  Nobody is allowed to throw these out in our house!  Twist-ties are magic. 

There is also a sewing machine needle inside the tin, blending in with all the other shiny sharps.  It was from my mum’s old machine.  It is the only remaining part of that faithful gadget responsible for so many costumes and crafts mum created for us as kids.  She used it to sew patches on our jeans, before that was cool, much to my displeasure.  I still have some of the patches she did not use….I know, I know….hoard much?  I once saw my mum sew right through her thumb with that sewing machine, and she did not cry out in pain.  I think if that had happened to me, I might have had a few choice words to scream before I vomited or fainted….or both; but she shook her head, reversed the wheel, then walked to the bathroom for a bandage.

All the other pins are from various Home Ec. classes.  I used them in high school and so did my daughters, adding and losing pins along the way until we have this assorted gaggle of pointy reminders of past projects.   Pins hold the memories of being the link between two separate pieces of fabric jutted up against the other.   These fabrics are not yet bound by thread, but the pins know they are destined to be connected.  Sometimes the fabrics are identical, but facing in opposing directions.  Sometimes the fabrics are so different in weight and texture, that the pins have to accommodate more slack from one fabric, while stretching the other.  Pins secure the shape these two fabrics might form, keeping them in alignment until a basting thread is in place.

If you know the basics of sewing, you know how hard it is to keep the fabrics matched up without pins.  Wonky fabric alignment = Wonky outcome.  Too many times I have tried to skip this pivotal step, going ‘pinless’ in order to speed the progress of my project.  Not often was I successful, having to rip out inadequate stitching, and wasting more time to re-sew, than if I had pinned in the first place.  Pins are guides to what the best outcome of a project can be….so what are the pins in an US v.s. THEM society?  What are the pins in our countries politics?  What are the pins that will connect my patience practice to the world?

Week #4…. here I come!