I hate this part. I hate looking at what I’ve made and feeling like a failure. I hate feeling like I’ve made a mess that I should hide from everyone. I hate looking at that brown clump on the right side and wondering if David is right, that it looks wrong, that it’s too much brown, that it won’t look right, that it won’t look like a face.
When I was in grade school, I was the type of kid who tried so very hard to get things right, that I’d tear up my paper for the slightest error. I watch my 7-year-old daughter struggle with pencil and paper the way I did at her age. I could never make the pretty cursive that pretty girls made, so I didn’t want to try at all. The leap from child to artist means that I have to live with uncertainty and imperfection–hoping for something more meaningful in the end.
My hand makes imperfect letters and imperfect stitches. But I know my handwriting from anyone else’s and I love it–just like I love the exact color of my eyes–because it’s mine. My artwork is marked with my hands, too. It’s as personal to me as my fingerprints. My heavy, clumsy hands have been all over it and it’s mine. It means so much to me, it’s so beautiful, because it’s mine. A thousand stitchers with a thousand embroidery kits couldn’t make what I made because it’s mine. It comes from my very personal hands.
It’s an Alexandra Walters. I will work on it doggedly. I will fuss and worry. I will stare and regret and worry more. When it is done, it will be fine. It will be mine and it will be beautiful.