~ Denise Stahre
I’ve been doing cross stitch since I was nine years old. I learned at Girl Scout camp, and fell in love immediately with everything about it: the counting of the stitches, the slide of the needle through the canvas, how the floss feels as it comes through the fabric, that smooth sound that it makes as it comes through. Up, down, up, down. Perfect, neat little xs cross my canvas, filling it with colour and pattern. It’s a whole new way to colour, with a different medium (Not that I don’t colour with more traditional materials. I do, every day.).
I even enjoy picking knots apart when they occur.
When I’m working on a piece, I don’t see the whole. I’m focusing on the line or colour I’m working. It’s when I put it away that I see the progress. I can see how all the pieces I’ve focused on individually come together to form the whole. It’s amazing to see.
Each colour on its own would look very abstract. On its own, a single x doesn’t seem important or vital to the piece. But when you step away, it becomes apparent how the colours work together, blending and outlining each other. You can see how if you took away even just one seemingly unimportant line or colour, it would change the entire composition of the piece. Every x is important. Every colour is important.
It’s funny, when I started writing this, and trying to tie it in to Unitarian Universalism, I thought about what I’m doing when I cross stitch, which is meditation, essentially. I wrote about the meditative. But now that I’ve finished it, I realise that I don’t need to try, it already is.
It is a perfect metaphor to the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Each x is important as each person is important. You can no more remove a single stitch and have the piece remain the same than you can remove a single person, and have the world remain the same.