The character in Sewing the Earthworm is inspired by 1970s punk rock icon Wendy O. Williams. The work dramatizes a private frustration as she looks back on a fragmented life, from the radical punk aesthetic to champion of environmental issues, before her suicide in 1998. This character relates to many other iconic artists: Frida Kahlo, Anaïs Nin and Elizabeth Bishop, for example. Because of these artists’ outspokenness, we find their human weaknesses even more intriguing.The setting for the piece is inspired by an anecdote about Albert Einstein: he loved to garden, but couldn’t bear the accidental killing of creatures living in the ground. Sewing the Earthworm begins with a lonely woman contemplating her garden as a haven for both herself and the many forms of life she tends to within it.The language of Sewing the Earthworm is that of myth, poetry, and spectacle. A physically deteriorating woman remains thankful that her hands can still control larger clumps of dirt in the maintenance of her private garden. She remembers her former abilities, especially with finer manual endeavours, and laments that her mind has remained long enough to know her body’s condition. When she accidentally cuts an earthworm in half while gardening, she decides to attach the pieces with needle and thread to save its life. The seemingly futile attempt is compounded by her desire to prove that physical control has not abandoned her, and the piece makes a rapid shift both musically and textually as a mental struggle takes over.