Learning one stitch at a time

I’ve always been taught to be busy. The busier you are, the more productive you are; it’s almost like a status symbol of worth. In my job as a legal secretary, time is measured in six-minute increments, with lawyers billing their rates every six minutes. There is no time to be idle. Every six minutes must count for something.

I think that’s why as a student, my system had a shock when I sat in on Creative Space. Run by Alison from Bonnie’s and Ruth from Rosebank Child Sexual Abuse Service, Creative Space is a drop in space where women can create craft and artwork.

Suddenly, there was no pressure for me to be ‘busy’; there were no deadlines and no action items for me to follow. All I had to do was sit back, and go to where my mind took me creatively. I could flick through the different vibrant colours, I could feel the thick stitching of the textiles, all without the pressure of having to do something for someone else.

I was drawn to salmon and sandalwood pieces of fabric, and with them, I decided to make a pencil case. Ruth gently taught me how to use the sewing machine and I felt something inside me transform. It was the feeling of learning, just to learn. Being creative, just to create. I think as adults we sometimes lose ourselves in the business of life and forget what it’s like to sit and play. To really feel the joy of just expressing ourselves.

It was a wonderful experience to watch Ruth and Alison’s chemistry turning a space into one of creativity, safety and healing. An experience I felt that I was a part of; it’s a warm memory that I will carry with me as I venture into the world of social work.

Written by Jen

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