This afternoon I hemmed a pair of curtains with stitchwitchery, that magical roll of some sort of tape which, when ironed between two pieces of fabric, makes a needle and thread unnecessary. I have no idea what it’s made of.
There was a point in my life when that would have been unthinkable. Granddaughter of a skilled garment worker and a woman who can find her way around a loom, I didn’t just wear the mantle of women’s handiwork proudly: I carded, spun, dyed, wove, sewed and embroidered it myself.
Last year I tried to grow flowers from seeds for the last time. Well, that’s not true; a packet of sunflower seeds arrived in the mail for my son, and I planted them today. But I have no expectation that they will make it. The fierce discipline required to provide exactly the right heat, but not so much that they get leggy, and moisture, but not so much that they get moldy, is slightly out of my reach. They’re on their own.
There was a time when I would have made jam from wild berries I picked in the woods. That happens rarely these days. I’ve become a woman who, when asked the question, “Did you make this?” coyly answers “I made it possible.”
Looking at the curtains hanging now, I realized that there is no guilt or disappointment, no sense of “cheating.” Mind you, I have nothing against homemade things. I may even make my own pie crust at Thanksgiving. There is joy in creation and self-sufficiency. But I do mind how I easy it is to judge myself based on how “from scratch” my life is. I realized today that letting go of making certain things has freed up time and energy for making other things possible. Which is why I’m telling you, in case you too are the kind of person who beats yourself up. Personally, I’m going to outsource that, too.