Having a heart broken–and broken open

Not everyone has the experience of being sleep deprived from having an infant while preparing for a kid’s high school graduation. (And, in my case, everything in between!)

My heart is pulled w-i-d-e.

But you hardly need my specific situation to have a heart that is pulled in different directions, that is being at once broken and broken open.

Little Patchwork Heart in the Weaving Shop

All of us have patchwork hearts.

I was thinking a great deal about my oldest son in the past many weeks. I was feeling my heart heavy with the sense of his movement out of my arms and home and into the arms and home of the world. He’ll be at University in the fall and, of course, he will always be my child. He will always be in my heart.

A line from my favorite poet e.e. Cummings came to my mind:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it

Then, as if often the case, an inspiration came for the weaving. The ideas just land. And land it did: patchwork heart. The patches themself representing all the different people and places and things and ideas we carry. The handsewn stitching so lovingly added to illustrate the breaks–

that make us stronger– if we let them.

I began to create the hearts by weaving the fabric.

Then cut the squares–stitching them first. It is always a little terrifying to cut your own weaving!

Here is a heart in process. It hasn’t been stitched together yet but has been cut into squares.

Once the patches are stitched, the edges are cut and stitched to have more rounding–with the least amount of cutting possible! The goal is NOT to shape a Perfect heart, but an authentic one. The variations are beautiful to me.

I showed the above heart as a work in progress to a dear friend who decided that it was hers. She gave me those two pieces of jewelry to add to it. The heart on the right belonged to her mother.

I carry your heart with me (I carry it in

my heart)I am never without it.

Mother’s Day brings with it often, for so many, oceanic feeling. For mothers who have lost and children who have lost mothers and those who longed to become mothers who could not and those forced into mothering and for all of the other immense variety of heartbreak that comes with our sense of mothering.

So, from my mother heart to each of you, I greet you with love and appreciation and tenderness. I stand before you with my patchwork heart, mended here and there, fraying a bit on one side, adorned on the other side- -beautiful, yes, and textural, and colorful and unlike any other.

And I see you with your heart and all that it carries.

I love that in weaving these hearts I can capture that no two are the same. No two are ever the same.

May you feel, this Mother’s Day, the quality of the Great Mother loving you, guiding you, holding you, and mending you–

stitch by stitch, thread by thread, making you stronger, and where you are broken, making you new.

Would you love one of these hearts? I hope so. You can get yours in the weaving shop.

I would love to make one for YOU if you desire one in a certain set of colors or with certain fabric woven in. Consider weaving in clothing of a beloved child or a beloved parent, or, as my friend did, adding elements after the weave to adorn the heart.

If you want a custom heart, please email me at sam@thesamanthawilde.com.

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