Seeking the Needle


One Needle, Found

Sunday Morning Chewie: A line from long ago keeps coming up lately. “Find the needle where you lost it.”

That line first came a few years ago in a blog post. Specifically:

Stop looking in the graveyard. That time is past. Find the needle where you lost it. In the sunrise, in the sunset. On the playground, on the swing set, playing hopscotch up the tree of life.  (from “Seeing God” in my blog God of Many Faces)

I’m wanting to work with this line some more, to flesh out what it means to me. (I’ll let you decide what it means to YOU. :))

The idea itself is not new. It’s actually very, very old. Many people have heard the Buddhist rendition of the story – the old woman out in front of her house, looking for something in the road, casting her gaze hither and yon.

A neighbor comes, asking what she’s looking for.

Her needle, she replies.

Neighbors gather to join her search. Time passes, the light begins to fade, and nothing has been found.

A needle is such a small thing, one neighbor points out. It will be impossible to find unless you can show us exactly where you dropped it…

Don’t ask me that, the old woman says. Ask anything but that.

Why? Why not? Where did you lose your needle, Grandmother?

Inside the hut, comes her answer.

Then why are you looking for it out here? (A valid question.)

Because it is light out here. In my hut, there is only darkness….

As the creative seamstresses of our personal and projected worlds, what needles have we
lost over the course of our lives? Where have we been looking for them? How have we been distracting ourselves from looking for them? Into thinking we’ve replaced that needle with a perfectly good pinecone? (Not that there’s anything wrong with pinecones – but they don’t function well as needles.)

And why are we so ardently avoiding the darkness inside the hut, where we lost that needle in the first place? Let’s face it – that’s the only place we’re going to find it. Unless, of course, we sat on it in the darkness, and it’s currently protruding from our nether regions – in which case we may feel a slight twinge.

So yes, that’s my morning chewie, something I’ll be working on this week/end as I head into retreat. I’d love to hear your thoughts. What does “seeking the needle where you lost it” mean to you? Have you been able to put that suggestion to use in a good way? Any pointers for all of us still out in the roadway?

Happy Sunday, friends. Enjoy the sunshine – and just in case, keep an eye out for pointy objects.

Spring 2017 017

Pinecones are lovely. True, they aren’t needles – but they may be laying in a pile of them. When is a needle not really a needle?

(C) 2017 Mary Batson,
All rights reserved, including the one to use a pin cushion next time.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s