Poem Project – entry #17 Attentiveness
another poetry piece inspired by the cathedral windows quilt block
I was messing around with fabric and the windows block at the same time I was reading Sue Monk Kidd’s book, First Light. It is a collection of essays she’s written over the years. When I read her thoughts I am reminded of Anne Morrow Lindberg’s famous book, Gifts From the Sea. I read that book for the first time when I was in college, a time of transition, and the book spoke volumes to me. I was just beginning to “frame” my spiritual house and processing that slim volume nailed several walls for me.
I’ve read a few of Kidd’s books, besides her famous novels, and they are among my favorite tools for self-reflection. Thirty years of spiritual house building and I’m finally putting paint on the walls.
Excerpts from First Light by Sue Monk Kidd
“I think of attentiveness as the capacity to be one-pointed, listening at ever-deepening levels of awareness. Ultimately our ability to do this is derived from the meditative practices and contemplative exercises that we undertake. They help us awaken and fine-tune our attention.
It goes like this. Find a practice and do it with discipline. Then bring the quality of that attentiveness to your external experience. We could call this practical mysticism.”
“This exquisite quality of engaging in sustained, non-discursive, active awareness becomes an intentionality that penetrates other aspects of life.”
“Someone pointed out to me that the words now, here, and nowhere have the same arrangement of letters, but different when a small space is inserted. Likewise a fine space separates us from experiencing our life as nowhere or now here.
Attentiveness is entering fully the moment you are currently in, no matter how hassling and mundane, and simply being present with it.”
The words from this essay titled “Awareness” appear early in the book and I loved the paradox of that combination of words – now, here, and nowhere. I was messing around with these two fabrics that I love, noticing how much their colors complemented each other and decided to use this essay as a focus for this project. Once I had made the decision that “attentiveness” was the theme, I used my work on the fabric to be a design requiring attention, hence all the beading and gold stitching.
But just like life, I tried not to go overboard! There are some edges that aren’t stitched as well as they should be, and I just have to let go – accept the unruly and less than perfect. I kind of like the notion that my boo boos remind me I’m human, and there are reasons I need to seek sources larger than myself.