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Let me say for starters that if you can sew or knit then I salute you. I have tried and failed to master these particular life skills. You will understand this image more than me. Life has unravelled around us. The fabric of our families, communities and societies has been torn and we are left with a lot a frayed edges and frayed people. We want to catch the tumbling ball of wool before it ends up a long and tangled mess on the floor. We may not be able to do this. We may however be able to take some needle and thread and gather the frayed edges that are around us and slowly begin to stitch this onto some new fabric. We did not ask for new fabric, in fact it is unfamiliar and we liked what we knew. But the old is not lost, it is stitched in with the new fabric, stitch by stitch. Anne Lamott writes in her book Stitches, ‘you have to keep taking the next necessary stitch, and the next one, and the next. Without stitches you just have rags, and we are not rags’. This is so beautiful and true. The material you use will be unique to you and the tears that need repairing will be different from mine. It is likely though that we will need the same thread that is both soft and strong, as poet William Blake writes, ‘Joy and woe are woven fine, a clothing for the soul divine. Under every grief and pine runs a joy with silken twine’. In a few months from now we will gather what we have managed to stitch together from the fragments we have around us. I am so curious about what this might look like.

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