Synchronicity is a concept, first explained by psychiatrist Carl Jung, which holds that events are “meaningful coincidences” if they occur with no causal relationship, yet seem to be meaningfully related. (wikipedia.com)
So, I promised that I would share what led me to “A Stitch In Time Saves”. Just over two weeks ago I was required to call the Cook County Civil Court to find out if I needed to report for jury duty the following day. My adult son had received a couple of summons letters over the previous year and hadn’t even been required to go in. I on the other hand was within the range of last names from C to S that were to report to the court building by 9:30 the next morning. Ok, I’ve been through that several times over my lifetime. You sit for a few hours, sometimes even in a courtroom while they ask a dozen plus people some questions about whether they could be impartial. I was immediately sent up to courtroom 2104 and mine was the first of the potential juror’s names to be called up to the jury box. I answered all of the questions to the best of my ability and by about 2:00 pm. I was told I could go home for the day, but plan to return the following Monday by 9:15 am. The trial was estimated to go two weeks.
Well, that was a change in plans. My plan for the following week had included driving to Michigan to help my parent’s as my mother was coming home from the rehabilitation center following her open heart surgery. At least the Court was going to have a 4 day weekend the following week for President’s Day. So, I thought I would just delay my plan to go visit my hometown and family. I have faith that I am always guided to where I am supposed to be, doing what I can do to serve best. For some reason this was where I was supposed to be for the next couple of weeks.
The opening statements by the plaintiff’s attorney led us through a tale that started with an emergency admittance of the patient to a major hospital, emergency surgery that lasted many hours, known complications during surgery with some delayed documentation of some of the procedures, and several necessary follow up surgeries during a month long hospital stay. In his last “opening” sentence the attorney indicated that our decision would all come down to our judgement of a “stitch” that was created during the first surgery. There it was I thought this is why I am here, to judge a stitch. As a textile artist the stitch is my domain.
Surprisingly, being on a jury was a good opportunity for me to practice non-judgement. I worked hard to remain open minded for two weeks, listening to all of the evidence before coming to my opinion. I was also very fortunate to serve with a group of really pleasant people on this jury. (If you have to spend that much time having lunch and breaks in a small room with strangers, you want them to be nice). In the end, after some careful discussion of what we each heard and observed in the courtroom, we all agreed on a decision. It is my hope that the process of this trial helped the family of the patient find answers, peace and closure. In that way it may have served a higher purpose.
And for me, this process led to some deeper thoughts. I always joke that as an artist, mother, teacher, wife what I do is important, but it isn’t exactly “brain surgery or rocket science”. As a self-employed artist and teacher, I do the work that I do so that I can remain flexible to the needs of my family and my community. I am available to change course at the last minute, jump into roles and tasks that I didn’t anticipate, but are needed in each moment. Yes, this can often frustrate me, and lead me off track and delayed in my own plans. But, I believe it is important. I believe in “being in the moment”. In the end the decision did all come down to a “stitch”. Was it a stitch that saved in an emergency surgery situation? Or a stitch that lead to further complications? Those were the questions the jury needed to answer. In one AH-HA moment last week I remembered that I had created a wall hanging a year ago with the title “A Stitch In Time Saves“. And then this all started to make sense. I have been trying to connect all of the aspects of what I do and give it a name, at the same time holding space for a larger purpose and a path forward. I create fiber and textile art primarily out of salvaged and re-used materials, I teach sewing and art as a way to relax and find enjoyment, and I practice energy healing and stitch as a method of mindful moving meditation. A STITCH IN TIME SAVES is a title that encompasses all of those aspects. Coincidence? I think not.