Email of the damned

I woke at three. By 3:15, I was composing an email in my head to Elder Son, aka the ‘alternate executor’ of both K’s and my estates.

“Rent a storage pod / Put all bedroom bookcases and books in it / Put half the chairs on the first floor in it / Empty basement as best you can.”

“The house’ll show better. Then later, hire a truck to ship stuff you want out west.”

Basement? OMG. Unfinished work is a topic that often keeps me awake, even absent a pandemic. One quilt, in particular, sprang to mind.

It was the less cheery of a pair, both constructed in the unhappy aftermath of Younger Son breaking his arm twice. The second skateboard fall required surgery and meant he started high school with a heavy, itchy cast — not an auspicious beginning in the least.

The Cheery Quilt (finished, below) was made almost as an antidote to the other, with sunflowers in the sky and a bright red house made of flannel plaid with associations to a happier time (Christmas pj’s made for him in elementary school).

The Dark Quilt quilt (above) used a lot of the same fabrics but bleached to represent the joyless aftermath of trauma. This time the house is constructed of deep indigo/ghost white prints to represent X-rays.

Where was it? At 3:45, I trotted down to the basement, determined and curious.

Link to process post about Ghost Xray quilt here. Post about bleaching fabrics and cheerier quilt composition here. Dated 2012 and 2011, respectively (ahem).

The Ghost quilt was in the dresser where I thought it would be. Exultation! But, oh my — how many unfinished projects I had to paw through to find it! I laid piece after piece down on the floor like a colorful cloth sidewalk to nowhere. Or maybe like a path leading straight into a big cloth, working along with Ragmates and Jude?

The Ghost Xray quilt stinks, of course, all the cloth down there does now — so it’s out on the Yew. The Impossibly Large Yew. I flapped the quilt out next to a red blanket that spent the last ten days soaking up rain and freezing in the cold. It had reeked of dog even post-wash. I was afraid it might’ve gone from dog-stink to mildew-stink given the time lapse, but no! It smells like spring. Delicious.

By 4 am, I had careened from concerns about children emptying this stuffed house to my central creative dilemma — finishing work. I don’t want advice or sympathy right now, but it helps to admit this (again) and witness it, maybe with a more balanced lens.

My impulses are good — both the creative and the personal. It feels important to acknowledge this as I beat myself up. There’s a deep river of generosity here. I am passionate about things. I care.

But the daunting business of completing work? Ugh, it really gets me down.

Elder Son’s blanket has, of course, stalled as I pump out masks. I’ve promised about 20 to friends (arg!)

Today, I have to stick to my routine of doing two crossword puzzles — if for no other reason that to let my psyche know that it’s Sunday! Then, maybe I’ll amp up the mask-making a little, to get it behind me.

Then, I need my almost-daily ritual of yard work. MAYBE there won’t be any fucking leaf blowers today, it being Sunday. Yesterday four (FOUR!) crews buzzed and whined their way through very-near-lots, two blowers each. At one point, I put on my ear buds. Next thing you know I’ll be embarrassing myself dancing to ‘Watermelon Sugar’ or ‘Old Town Road’ in full view of the neighbors.

Would that be such a bad thing?