Sewing as a bridge

Living in the Seattle area, we’re at the epicenter of the US corona virus outbreak. They say people fall into two categories when it comes to the virus: underprepared or over-prepared; panicked or nonchalant. Our family falls into the prepared but not panicked camp. We’ve been meaning to be smart about earthquake preparedness and this was the push we needed to get it done.

The hardest part of it all is not knowing; being in the middle. There’s no way to prepare for the unknown. School is no longer in session for now. Husband is working from home, but for how long? No gatherings of groups of people, but for how long? It’s like I’m walking on an icy bridge from what was normal to the new normal, aiming for the other side, hoping I don’t lose my footing.

An endless train of articles, updates, information often conflicting, discussions, assumptions and cancelled plans and activities are speeding past at an alarming rate. No amount of knitting or reading fiction is holding my attention. I’ve been here before, tittering on the edge of anxiety with the need to distract my brain from the immediate circumstances. And generally a big sewing project is what can shift my brain from “what if” to “right now”. Sewing is something that still feels new and requires my full attention. Even with several years of sewing under the belt, it still demands complete engagement. Sewing is one thing providing traction on this icy bridge of unknown.

There are some larger projects that have been in the cue for some time and I’ve used Elise Joy’s Want TO DO LIST to organize them a bit. First on my list is the Wiksten Haori in Merchant and Mills Dauphine Jacquard Cotton. Then I’d like to sew a Zadie Jumpsuit…or maybe a Yari Jumpsuit or maybe both! Then a black Linden sweatshirt and black Gypsum Skirt. The list gets longer from there: Avery leggings for my tap class (which is online now!). Hudson pants (because I’ll be in sweats for the foreseeable future!) and perhaps a Hinterland dress, Wilder Gown, or Felix Dress (we’ll be able to go out again, someday?). So many possibilities. This doesn’t include pj pants for the kids, the mending pile and a quilt idea I’ve been tossing around. And as of today, these ideas are shelved to hopefully make fabric masks for those on the front lines.

Things are moving fast right now; each hour with new information and mandates. In Seattle, the kids will be out of school until at least until the end of April. Distance Learning has begun. We’re practicing social distancing and questioning if take out is ok or not. We walk on the trails by our house, careful to stay 6 feet away from anyone we encounter but that’s hard as everyone seems to be outside. It’s part isolating and part unifying. I love the family time, family meals, the closeness while strengthening my tolerance for the squabbles, increased volume and lack of alone time.

One the other side of the coin, I don’t have much time to work on all the projects. In fact I have less time now that I’m with the kids full time. We weren’t supposed to have this time all together but now that we do, I’m doing my best to be present. The most common question these days is “what now” from my younger kid. The WANT TO DO LIST is now coupled with a NEED TO DO LIST. I’m brainstorming tons of ideas of what we can do but it all takes an immense amount of energy.

This is HARD. EXHAUSTING. FULFILLING. I have so much gratitude to be in this space. And I miss my friends, family, classes and the freedoms I have always taken for granted.

As the routines begin to form and we find this new normal, time will emerge for my needs and wants. Right?

Well. A girl can dream.