Shortly before Christmas I collapsed on my couch one afternoon beyond exhausted. I decided that I wasn’t going to get up until I felt better (much to my children’s great disappointment.)
I closed my eyes and began to doze and unexpectedly found myself thinking about mice and how much I fear them. I think I was in a liminal place in-between awake and asleep when I started to imagine a mouse crawling through my home, in my clothing, and inside my cupboards.
The idea of a mouse scurrying around my home (even in my imagination) made me feel vulnerable and out of control, an extension of the exhaustion I was in I am sure, but instead of resisting it for some reason I followed it.
I imagined bringing the fear closer and nurturing it.
I asked the mouse to come closer and offered it tenderness and love. Then in a clear flash an image of me intimately caressing the mouse while we slept came to me. I knew instantly that this was a symbol (an invitation even) to welcome my fears and get to know them better rather than habitually pushing them away.
When I finally decided to get up off of my couch, I knew that I needed to follow this imagery and the wisdom of my imagination.
I grabbed my sketch book and tried to capture the image that had come to me. The tenderness, the welcoming arms, the tawny brown mouse I had seen in my kitchen weeks before. I could have left this here, but I knew that I needed to spend more time with this imagery trying to make sense of it.
I decided to bring it into an embroidery project, which is slow and intentional by nature preventing me from taking any quick escape and then over the winter holidays and into the New Year I spent 40+ hours creating this little mouse and thinking about what it means to bring my fear closer.