What to write about…so many possibilities
It has taken me a while to write my second post…what do i write about?? I first thought about sharing my thoughts on how women too often undervalue or hide our creative endeavors, segregating our private, creative lives from our professional lives. Those thoughts are still percolating and will be covered in another post.
I also considered my audience, yes I have a few followers!! Some are stitchers, some are family and friends, and there are a couple that have happened upon my blog. How to appeal to such a wide audience?? I have decided to dedicate this page to my reflections on how stitching impacts on other aspects of my life – professional and private. Over the next few weeks, I will ask a colleague on how I set up a separate page where I can focus on some of the more ‘stitchy’ issues that will appeal to those stitchers who follow me.
So in this post, I decided to reflect on Hargeisa, Somaliland and how stitching continuously teaches me to be patient in my professional life and to take the longer view.
Hargeisa, Somaliland…watching a beautiful pattern unfold
After a long absence, over the past few years, I have begun to re-engage with Somaliland, the self-declared Republic in northwestern Somalia. My first trip to Somaliland was to Hargeisa, the capital city, in 1998 and I travelled fairly regularly to Hargeisa until the mid 2000s. In 1998, Hargeisa was still recovering from being bombed by the Siad Barre government between 1987 and 1989. The city, which had been home to 500,000 people, was almost completely destroyed. 10 years later, rubble was still visible, a grass-roots peace movement had established an accepted governance structure and Somaliland was slowly establishing a functioning government.
In 1998, power came from generators, mainly at compounds that housed international non-governmental organizations and wealthy Somalilanders who could afford to run/maintain them. As I continued to visit the city, there was progress, but hard to see and harder yet to appreciate. Fast forward to 2019 – despite not being recognized as an independent country by the international community, Somaliland has a held multiple peaceful, largely free and fair elections, government offices are staffed and there is a fierce pride amongst Somalilanders on what they have achieved. Hargeisa is a vibrant, young city, home to 1.2 million people, almost 25% of Somaliland’s population. City power is on, water is flowing, businesses are bustling, there are traffic jams and Somalilanders are relentlessly and resolutely re-stitching their city. Like a pattern emerging stitch by stitch, and what a beautiful pattern it is.
70% of Somalilanders are young people – wow! They are impatient, pushing for change, starting businesses, bringing a positive, kinetic energy to the city. Coming back to Hargeisa and seeing the amazing change is awe-inspiring. Stitching is helping me to take the long view, to appreciate the unfolding of the different patterns that emerge in places like Hargeisa. It reminds me that progress is uneven, at times we can’t even see it, particularly if we are too close. Stepping back is critical to seeing the whole. Kind of like when you jump around a pattern – it is still hard to see the complete picture, it remains disjointed and unconnected…but with time, persistence and work, the picture comes together into an observable, understandable and beautiful whole.
The Drawn Thread Sampler I am working on is a time-consuming and persnickity piece. Unlike many of my other pieces, I find myself taking frequent breaks from it…the stitches are intricate, needing precision and concentration. I am loving watching it unfold, but progress is slow, uneven and painstaking! To give myself a mental break, I decided to start another piece, as I work on finishing the Sampler. This new piece is a design by Emie Bishop of Cross’n Patch – Linen Band Bell Pull being stitched on a 28 count 3.5 inch linen band. The design will be about 44 inches long when completed and has lots of fun, new stitches for me to learn and try. Below is a pic of my progress thus far!
That’s all for now,