During the conference, we were invited to make a bookmark which, at its end, would be gifted to another woman.
As you may expect, some of us happily dived in and began stitching and sticking, designing and decorating. others shrank back in terror, claiming to be useless at sewing, having not a creative bone in their bodies. Most, but not all, created a book mark, and, of those, most were submitted for sharing.
It's no surprise to anyone that I had lots of fun and, in the end, contributed five bookmarks (three of them are in this photo, but I'm not saying which).
As it happens, the one I was given is in the photo and, by chance, I know who made it. From what we shared over the conference, I know a little more of her story and of the love with which she created her bookmarks (she also made more than one).
For me, the exercise was worth deep reflection... on our fear of failure, our confusion of excellence with value, of the potential inweaving of self with creating (whether it's poetry, sewing, music, art, accountancy or cooking dinner), or the love that covers over a multidude of bodged stitches, wrong notes, soggy bottoms and arithemtic errors.
It's curious, isn't it, how parents and grandparents delight in wonky drawings and overly-iced cakes given by children, yet as adults we demand perfection from one another. Thank goodness God is parent not peer - delighting in our endeavours, putting our metaphorical pictures on the equally metaphorical heavenly fridge door, and telling the angels, 'yes, so-and-so did that, isn't it good....'
I will treasure the bookmark I was gifted, less for what it 'is', though it is lovely, and more for what it 'means'.