The Bobbin

Tonight I finally got a chance to listen (with some concentration) to a new album by Eric Peters, a singer/songwriter Jimmy and I befriended when we were first married. He and his wife Danielle came to Tallahassee and played a show and hung out for the first time with us way back in the year 2000.

I was able to make some artwork for one of his former albums. It was a privilege. It had birds. I love birds. His new album is really great (sorry for the boring adjective...it deserves something more cerebral than that but it is after 9 p.m.) and he did his own artwork and his Danielle photographed him for the liner. It is called Birds of Relocation and has a painting with birds for the album cover. I felt proud somehow even though they are much cooler, more creative, and I think a couple years older than me.

In the spring of 2010 Jimmy brought Eric back for another Tallahassee concert. Then, he came back in the fall and on that visit asked me to make some artwork for his wife for a Christmas present. I of course said yes because I need a kick in the pants to do anything artistic. Unfortunately I am not in a place in life where I make it for the sake of making it. I use up all my creativity doing something called home school. But I do lie in bed on a regular basis and dream about carving out a corner of my bedroom into a tiny studio.

I never blogged about this art because it was the holidays and I had a baby (Juliet) just a couple weeks later and once a certain amount of time passes I just don't blog about things. But tonight my memory was jogged and I wanted to write about this.

I really only had one thing to go off of, a quote from a Traveling Onion poem that Eric sent me, "For the sake of other, disappear." But I knew Danielle likes to sew so I was also inspired by that. The scissors, well, I love scissors. I drew 86 pairs of them for my BFA grad show. Scissors can be open. They can get rid of stuff you don't want. They are a tool. They change the shape of things. They cut paper, the best stuff ever. They are utilitarian yet they create.

The Peters have two small children, so they are a family of four. Instead of four spools of thread, I made one a bobbin to represent the mother.

On a sewing machine, the bobbin holds the thread that you don't see. It is on the underside of your fabric. If your tension is set right, you don't see it on the top side. If not, it can peek out and make an ugly stitch. If you run out of bobbin thread, your top stitch will not hold together. It is not meant to be seen though, it disappears if you will.

We mothers are kind of like the bobbin. We do lots of unseen work to make our family look good. We disappear most of the time. We are behind the camera, in the kitchen away from the party, and chauffeuring the dreams of our kids around town. Yet without a mother, the fabric of the family isn't holding together so well.

This was sort of an encouragement to persevere through runny noses, dirty diapers, and soiled laundry. We are the bobbin. We hold it together. Unseen, but essential and important. For the sake of others, disappear. Be encouraged. Put yourself out there for your family and rejoice in the role God has given you...to help it all hold together. (With God's unending grace lavished over you every day holding you together of course!)

Be strong. Be the bobbin. Use your scissors if necessary.


Laura said...

Thank-you for this post. I thoroughly enjoyed catching up on your blog this morning.

michellenotdawn said...

Thank you so much Julie...right what I needed to hear & when I needed it.
You are a blessing.

Jennifer said...

I love this concept! Thanks for sharing.

allhisblessings said...

Ahh Julie that was a good one. I love "the bobbin" connection so much.