"Yes, of course. I don’t have a sewing machine, but I can certainly cut fabric." With those two words--“I can”--the chaos recedes ever so slightly. And with the activity, the fabric pieces stacking in piles on the floor, you feel a bit calmer. Against all that is sad and scary, a thin plumb line of purpose has been established.
“We can get you a machine,” Isa said. “If you can sew, we can get you a machine.” And she did. What I’ve most appreciated about my experience making masks is how regularly I have heard those words—"we can”—we can figure it out…we can find someone to pick it up…we can reach out to them…or we can find a way to make it work—and how powerful those words are against feelings of overwhelm and powerlessness.
I have also loved the connections formed. Even the street I live on in Chatham now seems different—a string of lights--of Maskmakers, with Deborah on one end and Erin on another, and then there are our youngest members, who are hand-sewing masks to give away to other children in need.
In the face of tremendous uncertainty—what can one person do?—"I can” has been, for me, a welcome first step. The power of hope grows through connection, even in quarantine. I have felt that sense of hope grow, thanks to this group, step by step, mask by mask, connecting with people close to home, and with those we may never meet, who are wearing the masks we made.
Thank you, Maskmakers!
--Lisa Ross, Mighty Masketeer