I lick the thread out of habit before pushing it through the needle. I move to tie a knot and then double it. My focus now shifts to a single bead. I could drop it now and it would be lost to the world; having no meaning, no purpose. Instead, I lace the thread through its centre and join it with its sisters.
Piercing the fabric, I continue on meticulously. Somehow these inconsequential pieces bound by repetition develop an image. I sit back and admire their story.
This strawberry carries much meaning that I ascribe myself to in its creation. It forms despite what is missing; I may go so far as to say that it forms because of what has been lost. Its seeds of culture and roots of tradition were sown without soils. This strawberry is a reminder.
The hope here is that the aftertaste of trauma may be softened by this fruitful heart-shaped olive branch. Reconciliation. In my hands lies the rebirth of a tradition that was forced to endure. I learn this practice as an outsider. It is a privilege by privilege.
I remind myself to be cognizant of the roots of these threads. The history of this culture. The histories of these cultures. I reflect and appreciate. I appreciate the opportunity for exposure as it teaches and allows for me to acknowledge suppressed histories. Histories close to home and far from curriculums.
I push the needle through the fabric and wince as it pricks my finger. The blood wells up and gleams a pure crimson in the light. It poetically rises to form a single bead. I think of boiled blood and the traumatizing nature of pain, of violence. I think of institutionalized pain that doesn’t always materialize. My focus now shifts to a single bead. I could drop it now and it would be lost to the world; it would have no meaning, no purpose. Instead, I lace the thread through its centre and join it to a larger narrative.