Yesterday, between the frightening news about trump’s ongoing efforts to undermine our upcoming election and a new construction project in an abutting neighbor’s backyard, I sought solace in the basement. It was cool. It was quiet.
First came two hours of writing class, then frustrating attempts to attach pieces of the giant global warming quilt. I decided to surrender to the difficulties, in a way, by working fast with top-stitched machine zig-zag. The results were disappointing. Some sections had three layers, some two, some one. Uck! I don’t want to mess with this shit right now and maybe not ever.
It’ll be separate, smaller pieces, then. I just spent a fair amount of time making C’s blanket which involved less than satisfactory technique — the sashing, the lumpy quilting — or I might have more patience for such rogue improvisation.
With the world on fire, tried and true techniques feel like a kind of safe-haven. Self care, even. Things are hard enough.
I wrote this post last night. It looks like I’ll be spending today in the basement as well — unbelievable noise — near jack hammering (not the slightly muffled kind we’ve had a lot of the summer up on route 9) and incessant trucks beeping in reverse. A true noise hellscape. Moments ago: helicopters and sirens. The backyard neighbor’s construction crew hasn’t arrived yet.
* Handwritten quote above from Krista Tippet interview with Stephen Jenkins.
It’s 60 degrees here. Crickets sing their autumnal songs. Hard not to feel blessed, with zero hurricanes coming at us and zero fires raging nearby. The finches are feeding on the echinacea seed heads near the side door. When I come out, they fly off, startled and pretty.
K went to work today for only the second time since March 13. There were 313 Covid cases in Massachusetts yesterday, so I don’t know? Finn understood the change and stayed up in bed with me.
I am adding batting to the single-layer sections of the global warming quilt. Tricky. Fussy in a way that would be avoided if I were a Point-A-to-Point-B creator. Believe me, sometimes I wish I was.
But just look at that amaranth! It is one of the few glorious results of my seed planting efforts this year. Exactly ONE of the dozens of sunflower seeds I planted survived the rabbits.
The huge squash leaves came from a rogue seed that took root when a piece of compost fell into a yard waste bin and took off! I love how surprises arrive in the garden with a casual regularity that defy their miraculous nature.
Windy and cold today and so, so many sirens in Newton. Siren after siren. I helped a friend with a small garden this morning and came home, bathed, and slept.
I posted this quilt on Instagram saying I was going to fill in the grid with colored threads. So many people said they loved it as is (surprised me honestly) that I guess I’ll trim and finish, as is. We don’t want to create by committee but sometimes the judgment of others is useful.
Pages of the daily kind remaining blank lately. Why? Fingernails crescents of dirt. Perennial divisions going apace.
But, here’s a collage from yesterday. I was thinking about fearless women, about Colorado, and about meat.
I had just read a N.Y. Times opinion piece examining the awful conditions of the meat processing plants and meat production’s extraordinary cost to the environment.
If the article is behind a firewall, here at least is an excerpt:
We cannot protect our environment while continuing to eat meat regularly. This isnot a refutable perspective, but a banal truism. Whether they become Whoppers or boutique grass-fed steaks, cows produce an enormous amount of greenhouse gas. If cows were a country, they would be thethird-largest greenhouse gas emitterin the world.
You might not know how much of my psyche is wrapped up with wondering what it’s like to become an adult right now, particularly as a man.
I don’t realize the depth of this preoccupation myself until I start making collages.
Example: the SoulCollage card above. There are LOTS of examples.
For obvious reasons, climate emergency comes up. It is really hard to imagine 15 years out.
I glued a lot of paper into the book after dinner tonight, slitting compositions in half or thirds to fit on the page where need be. This will allow me to use remnants to create unifying repetitions.
Below is another one of my slide shows. I don’t know why this satisfies me so much. I don’t expect it to satisfy you. It’s worth noting that this process is NOTHING like working with cloth. I read Grace’s post just now where she draws parallels between cloth and paper and they are there for the finding. This is not that.