This making of a whole self takes
such a very long time: pieces are not
sequential nor our supplies. We work here,
then there, hold up tattered fabric to the light.
Sew past dark, intent. Use all our thread.
Sleeves may come before length;
buttons, before a rounded neck.
We sew at what most needs us,
and as it asks, sew again.
The self is not one thing, once made,
unaltered. Not midnight task alone, not
after other work. It’s everything we come
upon, make ours: all this fitting of
what-once-was and has-become.
"This Making of a Whole Self" by Nancy Shaffer. Text as published in Instructions in Joy: Meditations (Skinner House Books, 2002).
Art credit: "Pleat," light sculpture by Sharon Marston.