The United States of Entropy

Will you meet me someday past the sunset Known by the known, the dreamers of the dream

And stitch by stitch we work to tear the seam

“Someday Past the Sunset,” The Chris Robinson Brotherhood

When I was younger, I hated ripping seams. I would adopt a surly demeanor as I reached for the seam ripper and mutter profanities as I undid the stitches which had failed to please me. All that effort and time seemed wasted.

Now that I’m a little older, it doesn’t bother me to tear out that which doesn’t serve. I am grateful for the chance to undo and re-do, to get one step closer to fine. I don’t get frustrated; I feel peaceful as I make the slashes and tug the pieces apart again, knowing they’ll come together smoother after correction.

I think in some ways, this reflection connects to current events. We find ourselves in a situation where many of the previous ways do not serve, and have to tear our mutually constructed reality apart to make it fit. It’s become clear that things in the beforetime were put together in such a way that those at the margins suffered the most. The stitching had been set to skip over them, and even when they grasped the edges, it could never hold.

Now things are falling apart, fast for some of us, in slow motion for others. Some of us feel anger, some disappointment. Some feel fear, while others feel drive. What an opportunity we have been given to practice mutual aid while offering support and liberation. Doing the work, even when it’s messy, because in the end, we’re all we’ve got. Tearing seams, trimming old pieces, cutting new ones to fit, and making sure no one is left out this time. Squaring up in multiple senses and dimensions.

I’ve always loved how the backside of a quilt top resembles stained glass when held up to the light. The seams we keep hidden become borders holding bursts of color and beauty, a pattern in reverse.

Things that need undone and redone will continue revealing themselves as we keep moving forward. Even when we feel like we’re standing still, we are emerging with purpose, with the directive to survive. And if that’s all you can do right now? It’s enough.

Pax vobiscum,

Selah Raines