The Box Next To My Sewing Machine

The box next to my sewing machine

“I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous, or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular, but because it never forgot what it could do”  from the poem Famous by Naimi Shihab Nye

When I was in art school we had an assignment to make a portrait of someone we knew.   There was an older man in the class whose wife, had just died.

The man (I don’t remember his name) came to class and laid out some things that had belonged to his wife which, for him, told her story.  I don’t remember exactly what they were, but I do remember that from looking at the objects, it was clear she was a painter.

I thought of this when I took the picture above of the box that sits next to my sewing machine.  Not because it defines me. But because it tells the story of the things I use on a regular basis when I’m sewing, along with the odds and ends that find their way into the box.  (Those are the questions in the story.)

This box and the things in are all so familiar to me.  Little pieces of plastic and metal that help make my work possible.

2 thoughts on “The Box Next To My Sewing Machine

  1. A pulley or a buttonhole: just completing the tasks it was made to perform, without praise or acknowledgement, but with an assumption of continued functionality until such time as it breaks or fails, and then maybe its worth is made clear. No matter if a thing or a person, it is the ‘non-spectacular’ that makes the world work, and just a hint of appreciation during its existence leads to care and maintenance to help bolster its lifespan – and help it not forget what it could do.
    Thank you very much for posting that quote.

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