Yesterday I watched a beautiful film on Netflix titled Look and See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry. It was an inspiring work on many levels and I will likely be sharing more thoughts in these early days of #threaduary. One nugget tucked in among the poems read and the beautiful scenery, was in an interaction between the interviewer and Berry. She remarked that she had come from a family whose parents divorced, family and roots torn in two. Wendell replied that we all come from divorce. It wasn’t meant literally, but figuratively…that we all experience brokenness in some way in our lives which prevents us from feeling whole or rooted. He responded thus:
“This is an age of divorce. Things that belong together have been taken apart. And you can’t put it all back together again. What you do is the only thing that you can do: you take two things that ought to be together and you put them back together. Two things, not all things! That’s the way the work has to go. You make connections in your work… That’s what we do, we people who make things. If it’s a stool or a film or a poem or an essay or a novel or a musical composition, it’s all about that. Finding how it fits together and fitting it together.“
This is what we do when we stitch – we bring two things together, any two or three or more, and we mend them not to recreate the original but to bring something entirely new to life from what was once cut off, ripped or frayed.
It feels good in our hands to do this work of bringing things together. The common thread for makers of all stripes is this joining together of disparate elements to create something whole and beautiful. We had best be about the work at hand.