I recall a line from Rick Bragg’s My Southern Journey. When asked why he writes the stories of his home, he replies, “Because I want to make sure someone does.”
In her newsletter, Nicole Gulotta shares the same sentiment in a slightly different way.
We create what we believe to be possible, what we know in our heart must be told. That is our burden and our blessing, it seems, to be the keepers of stories, words, insights, and lessons that have nowhere to go but billowing out of us.
And so it is for writers and photographers and storytellers of all sorts.
What calls me to rekindle a craft of my childhood?
I remember learning to crochet as a child, maybe 7 or 8 years-old. Our babysitter, Brenda Church, taught me. I worked diligently chaining stitches and double stitches to make blankets for my dolls. I worked the hook and yarn with more tension than needed; the stiches were so tight and tiny I could barely pull the hook through. The finished blankets were misshapen, but I was still proud.
I find myself circling back to the crafts and activities of my childhood. This time, wiser and more sure of myself, the yarn slides across the needle, yarn-over, pull through, yarn-over, pull through. The first two flower-shaped coasters are not quite right, a little misshapen, again. I persevere because this is worth doing, worth knowing, worth making.
There is something to be said for healing the wounds of our childhood in this way, reliving and relearning in the light of wisdom and maturity.
Sitting in the big green upholstered chair, feet tucked under my bottom, I soaked in her scent. All Herbal Essence shampoo and Pond's cold creme. She leaned in, wrapping her arms around me, guiding my stitches. Already feeling the need to perform in order to have and hold onto love, every stitch felt like a step toward security.
Telling our stories is not a show of self-importance or even the creation of legacy . . . it is instead an expression of our humanness, as much as breathing in and out.