The most important role I can play in life these days is listener and learner. I’ve downloaded lists of publications, podcasts, videos and Facebook live talks relating to Black Lives Matter to help me become a better ally. I’m fortunate to have time between clients and coaching groups to absorb this content.

I’m also fortunate that I have a new craft and can create art pieces while I’m processing ideas that are deepening my awareness of American history. I often have to put down my needle and thread in sadness and shame.

Most recently I listened to the New York Times podcast, 1619, a series on slavery in America. “Heart wrenching and illuminating” is a quote on the reviews page. My friend and colleague, Rochelle Odesser, recommended that I listen, and I’m grateful to her for pointing me there. Today’s listening will be a podcast called Code Switch.

With my needle in motion throughout my hours of tuning in, my wall hanging project is near completion. I’m learning about this craft as I learn about our country.

One of the things I appreciate about wool appliqué is its forgiving nature. I didn’t like how one of the pennies (pictured here) was puffing up from the background. It was simple to rip out the stitches and re-attach it to the background where it now lays flat. I’m also in the process of deciding how to sew on the zig-zag, small pennies I’ve designed to go in between the larger ones. They make the eye dance around the composition, so I like the layout with them in it. I’m just not sure what thread to use since these pennies are quite small. Do I make the stitching invisible or part of the pattern?

I’d like to think that this could be a metaphor, simplistic as it is, for our land – that we can re-do it and make it better, one action at a time.


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