The Who and the Why

There once was a sewer who underwent pain
Whenever she entered her sewing domain.

What met her were unfinished projects on racks
And patterns and fabrics in stacks upon stacks.

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When will these beauties ever get sewn?

Of buttons and books she had in such plenty
Her mind was embarked on the road to dementy.

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Are they doomed to stay on their cards?

Now here’s what’s ironic: she was no barbarian;
She’d long earned her bread as a reference librarian,
Selected books, too, in Collection Management!
These transgressions surely would merit her banishment.

Business card

Senior Librarian!

For, who better than she was to cut to the chase,
To research a question in a database,
Or flip through the pages in books with more ease?
Her colleagues all hailed her profound expertise.

A heroine she was to her thousands of patrons,
But alas, in her sewing she’d overlooked maintenance.

Now, mind you, she’d had her fair share of successes,
In tailoring jackets, and coats, and nice dresses,
Stitching luxurious cushions and draperies,

livingroom

A glorious mix of patterns and colors

And even some occasional naperies.

Threads pubbed her London piece to some acclaim

ThreadsLondon

Best research project ever!

And Reader’s Closet brought no little fame.

So, what was the problem? What restless soul
Within her churned? What was her goal?
She wasn’t sure, and this distressed her,
Thoroughly baffled and depressed her.

She only knew she wanted more
Of something not in any store,
Or on eBay, in books galore,
Or databases by the score.

She yearned to use her ideas and passions
To make yet more beguiling fashions,
And feel the incomparable sense of flow
Whenever she commenced to sew

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book captures that feeling of total engagement in an activity.

And bring more dreams to full fruition:
That seemed to be her life’s ambition.

“It must be time I lack,” she ventured,
“To full-time work am I indentured.

When I have time, I’ll organize
And sort my buttons all by size,
Catalogue each fabric and pattern!
No one will dare call me a slattern!”

“When I have time…” she promised herself–
And sadly replaced her dreams on the shelf.

She stayed in this mistaken vein
To purposefully check the pain
Or tell herself it “didn’t matter,”
And other idle, senseless chatter.

The truth remained: she yearned and yearned.
Her dreams in multitudes still burned
To be expressed more than before–
For she was an…ideaphore!

Johnson O'Connor test results

A high score in ideaphoria (flow of ideas)! Now what?

Johnson O’Connor so declarified.
From hours of aptitude testing they verified
She was a fire hose of notions
And threatened to produce commotions
If she’d no outlets for her talents.
Her happiness hung in the balance.

“Moreover,” said the tester, “She
Has a subjective personality.
Which means that she’s a stubborn dame
And managing others just isn’t her game.

She scores high in dexterity,

Dexterity

She scored high in both dexterity tests.

And language is her cup of tea.
Communication is her theme;
She’s passionate in the extreme.

Her life’s egg’s scrambled, not hb,
Which means she integrates, you see.
Her life’s not compartmentalized;
Her library’s not departmentalized.

Her foresight score is high, and so
She needs a mission, a row to hoe,
And seeds of dreams to ever sow.”
Thus spake the tester at Johnson O’.

Once this sewer heard this news
And heard her husband say “It’s true!”
She knew, she knew, she knew, she knew
Her hero’s quest would start anew.

Although her path lacked clarity,
Her ideas and dexterity
And foresight and communication
Combined would serve as her salvation.

Experienced in research and selection,
She’d chart herself a new direction.

NorthStar

Her heavily used copy of Martha Beck’s Finding Your Own North Star

She wouldn’t simply organize,
But use her skills to synthesize
Each part of life into a whole:
This was her overarching goal.

Returning to her sewing space,
She felt a surging sense of grace.
And, exercising every day
In view of her fabrics, her mind would play,

Scheming how to assemble clothes
That matched personality, body and roles,
Occasions, activities, weather conditions,
Personal and professional ambitions,
Silhouette, style, best colors, and moods,
And what she was moving–and growing–into.

And then how to put all the clothes together
Into her own wardrobe, like birds of a feather,

And how to plan ready-to-wear selecting,
Fabric- and pattern- and button-collecting,
To gather together all that’s inspiring
To sew the joys of her desiring.

And then her workspace could be designed
To create the wardrobe she had in mind.

Each piece of the puzzle had found its place,
Linked to each other, not floating in space.

chart

How to design a wardrobe? Could this chart solve the puzzle?

And the basis, she saw, of this model she wrought
Was the who and the why, as well they ought.

Sewing books deal with the what and the how,

sewingbooks

What to sew? How to sew it? Look here!

And magazines handle whatever’s hot now.

But sewers must figure the why and the who
If unto themselves they resolve to be true.

And as she burnished this microcosm,
Her happiness began to blossom.

Long story short: she chose to leave
Her line of work, though it made her grieve.
She talked to her bosses and colleagues sublime,
Then checked off the box on the form: “I resign.”

HR called and informed her, “You cannot resign.
You must do all the papers again and re-sign!”

And so it came to pass that she
Became a library retiree.

And quickly she learned ’twas not time that she lacked,
So much as the knowledge and courage to act.

Finishing projects isn’t enough
To show to the world your very best stuff.
And it’s not loss of money, or fabric, or time,
But wasted potential’s the ultimate crime.

So now it’s her mission to test and to test
Her model until she can make it its best
And from her diligent application
Encourage a Getting Things Sewn nation!

Readers, that sewer–’twas I, have you guessed?
And by my verses were you impressed?
If so, would you join me, my blog posts peruse:

Girl, situation, jeopardy:
Hilarity ensues.

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One thought on “The Who and the Why

  1. Beautiful, Paula! A gloomy day outside my window, and reading this just brought out the sun. I was so grateful for my visit to your temple/workshop/lair in September; it was truly a respite in a weekend that otherwise hung on me like an ill-fitting jacket. 😉 I can’t wait to read more about your journey and your calling!

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