Students of Japanese Embroidery are encouraged to stitch with their hearts. This is easier said than done. When you are first learning you have to concentrate so hard on simply forming the stitch that the head is fully engaged but gradually, with practice, the hand learns how to do the stitch without conscientious thought.
I remember my first 'real' bike when I was a girl. What I remember most about it was the day that the stabilisers came off and I learnt to ride without them. A kindly neighbour, Fred, patiently followed me up and down the street, supporting the bike and offering words of encouragement. Eventually, I heard his voice still encouraging me but from a distance. I never new the moment that Fred released the saddle and let me ride solo; I never new the moment that my head stopped directing my hand and my heart began to stitch.
© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway
Today was the day that I realised I have started to stitch with my heart and I have begun to feel my mistakes before I see them.