Continuing with a one-year-backward-look as a tool to propel some completion of unfinished work, here’s a shot from last fall. This time last year, I was busy integrating my experience from the Sept. ’14 Sea Island Indigo workshop. I really can’t believe that was only last year! Was it?!!
And, here is a piece that was begun in Jude‘s Considering Weave class. Not sure what I’ll do with it, or even where to find it!
Another incomplete piece:
I’m happy to say that the October 2014 folder includes a few finished things as well: two dolls that I made for my sons and the “LA Circles” quilt that I finished a couple of weeks ago.
The book to finish is a memoir about the descendant of slave owners in Texas — his process of investigation and atonement. It’s called “Tomlinson Hill”. I purchased the book after hearing the author interviewed on the radio, and within a couple of weeks (during The Slave Dwelling Project’s overnight in Medford, Mass., at the Royall House and Slave Quarters), I met two or three people who were descended from slave owners and learned about the group, “Coming to the Table“. The group is “for all who wish to acknowledge and heal wounds from racism rooted in the United States’ history of slavery.” There was a meeting nearby recently, but I don’t seem to be in a phase of life where it is easy, natural, or right (somehow) to join a group or even attend meetings. Too much else pressing, including the need for restorative solitude.
But I can read. The book comes at a good time — I started and then put down “Purity” — Jonathan Franzen’s new novel (I’m a fan!). I was going like gangbusters because it’s a “speedread” from the library (7 days, no renewal), until I realized that the toxic relationships described in the story were just too close to some parts of my current reality to make the read pleasurable. I like books that challenge me and make me uncomfortable (and those that don’t, btw), but this was too much. Control what you can control, right?!
I share your feelings about meetings and the need to put some books down … my measure of a book has become, “Has the author given me enough reasons to care about what happens to these characters/people?”
As for unfinished works, I guess it’s much the same: Do I care enough to invest the time needed to see a piece through to completion? If the answer is no, it’s okay.
this was a self-protective act. the writing is stellar, the characters believable, the action compelling. It was quite hard to put down. There was a time I’d have made myself keep going. And I WILL read it soon, just not now. It’s a lot like how I couldn’t read the Updike “Rabbit” novels or any Philip Roth whatsoever until I had settled down in myself and was not quite so angry about men and what they can get away with and what they obsess about. Roth is now one of my all time favorite writers and I think it’s amazing that Updike could write several novels with a completely unlikable protagonist and write them well enough that we want to read them.
as you say, there’s that other kind of laying aside of reading, where the text isn’t credible or it’s sloppy or the characters are flat or you just don’t care about the central themes… lots of reasons to toss aside.
Complete or not, your work is beautiful!
I have learned to put down books that don’t feel good for me and have experienced that I can read them years later, being in a different phase of life. The same goes for movies.
Beautiful dolls for your boys!
Hi Simone — regarding reading and discomfort — you are so right that timing can change everything.
For some inexplicable reason, I love those dolls. I’m not sure my sons even really see them. But I liked them so much I had to ‘keep them in the family’ by giving them to them!!