WARNING: Not for the squeamish!
Soon after I arrived in Bellingen in 2006, one of my new neighbours heard about my costume-making skills and offered me a last-minute job to sew costumes for the local dance company. The ones they had ordered from overseas for their annual performance hadn’t arrived yet. I said yes to the job, despite the impossible time frame. Due to my sleep deprivation as a single mother, and working crazy long hours to make 26 white harem costumes, I stitched through my finger with my industrial sewing machine. It was surreal. I was alone at home with the children, with a broken needle stuck through my finger, still with some thread on it. Time slowed down and I felt remarkably calm. It must have missed the nerves or something because my finger wasn’t painful, it just felt numb. I was calm enough to take a photo and if you have morbid curiosity, you can see it below. I decided that the best thing to do was get some tweezers and pull it out myself. That part did sting. Ouch! Then I put on a couple of bandaids and kept on sewing, doing my best not stain the white chiffon with my blood. Time was ticking and the deadline was fast approaching so there was no time to dither about in self pity or drama about it.