“The pathologies of love do not necessarily work against relationship. They have a meaningful place, a job to do, and a color to add. . . If we could see our relationship problems as signs that the soul is trying to move, we might give them more positive attention. . .”
The other night, I clipped one of Finn’s nails too short and it bled. And bled. Oh, and it bled some more! The special powder had turned to rock, so while K held a paper towel on our poor alarmed pup’s paw, I whipped up a concoction of corn starch and baking powder.
The bleeding stopped, as bleeding usually does. But later, after settling on the pillow that he sleeps in at the end of our bed, Finn worried at it some. I didn’t know it then, but the nail bled again. The next day while making the bed (or what I call ‘making the bed’), I was astonished to find a perfect heart of his blood on our coverlet.In writing class last week (and weirdly, I can’t remember if it was before or after this nail incident), I wrote (and wrote) about blood. Oh how I wrote! If this is the year for making myself uncomfortable with risk-taking, then I ought to share it, oughtn’t I?
Meanwhile, I lost my progressive lenses two days ago (my $600 progressive lenses!) It’s disorienting and distressing to say the least. I have tons of three dollar reading glasses which I lose all the time with little consequence. But these? Until two days ago, I had considered my successful tracking a function of respect for the price tag.
(That’s $600 with insurance, by the way. If St. Anthony doesn’t come to my aid, I’ll be looking to Warby Parker for cheaper replacements).
Coincidentally, I recently recommitted to a babysitting job that kinda ruins my Thursdays. I didn’t want to say ‘No’ and I didn’t want to say ‘Yes’ either. In the aftermath of saying ‘Yes’, I decided that earmarking my modest earnings as ‘mad money’ might ease the ambivalence.
And then I go and lose my glasses. I lose my glasses something like ten minutes after the ‘mad money’ idea — glasses that cost almost to the dollar what the babysitting will produce in income.
Maybe they’ll turn up. Certainly, I won’t spend $600 to replace them. But correlations like this make me pay attention and ask questions.
Questions like: don’t I deserve to spend $600 on myself? (this from a woman who recently purchased a sweet grass basket in Charleston for $270 and considered it a deal). Or, is the designation ridiculous, given the amount of our resources spent to keep me nicely clothed and in bath salts?
Could it be an old lesson — that old, old one about the dangers of saying ‘Yes’ when I want to say ‘No’ (I thought I was done with this one).
Or maybe it’s about losing focus. Pure and simple (although, what’s simple about that?)
Such first world issues I leave you with today.
UPDaTE: I re-thought the Thursday commitment. Relief. ‘Hear that glasses? You can show up now!’
I am surviving a basement being excavated across the street, a patio being installed by back neighbor and the usual round of yard crews and year end celebrations over at the school (accompanied by booming music out in the field). By 5 yesterday, I was fried. Today will be better because kitty-corner neighbor’s hedges are now trimmed (two hours yesterday, electric trimmer).
This is the back of the heart dedicated to Depayne Middleton Doctor. She was 49 when she was slain last June during a Bible study circle at the Emanuel AME in Charleston. She left behind four daughters. So many people came to her funeral, they had to set up televisions in an overflow room in order to accommodate another 150 people.
According to “The Post and Courier”: ‘Middleton Doctor retired in 2005 as Charleston County director of the Community Block Grant Program. Last year, she began working for Southern Wesleyan University as admissions coordinator for the school’s Charleston learning center.’
The same article quotes a friend saying of Middleton Doctor’s singing voice: “So angelic it could move the very depth of your heart… How do you describe an angel?”
I made this heart and it was meant to capture a very rich personality, with some of the expansiveness of the heavens (the dotted dark cloths look like night skies to me).
Find out more about this remarkable woman and the family she left behind here.
To read more about this project,
please refer to the the sidebar category:
“Hearts for Charleston Quilt”
To investigate this style of quilting more, please visit the inspiring and generous master quilter, Jude Hill at her blog“Spirit Cloth“
Ever since the senseless murder of nine black congregants during a Bible Study circle at the Emanuel AME in Charleston, it has been hard to think of much else. It is sickening to realize that we now all have enough experience with these tragic events to recognize what could be called the ‘one-two-three punch’. First comes the awful, heart-rending racist violence itself. Second comes the media distortions, in which various denials and weird angles continue the racist harm. Third, we get to wait and watch for the possible failure of the political and judicial systems to prosecute or make a finding of guilt (or take down the Confederate flag). These very distinct kinds of harm overlap and blur into what for me is an increasingly intolerable state. What must it be for families of victims? For all African Americans?
Which is part of why I want to make a quilt. It’s not quite the ‘fearless action’ I consecrated myself to in a Solstice circle yesterday, but it is not nothing either.
A nine block would fitting. If each heart was secured atop a square of woven strips (in the style of and with techniques taught by Jude Hill), I think it would convey something about hope and love uniting us all – whatever hue our stripe.
Unlike the flurry and fury of my online activity (facebook and twitter), this would be a gesture with a little heft. What I have in mind is a modest wall hanging. More of a sympathy card than an heirloom quilt but still, something with literal and metaphoric heart… something that the members of the congregation in Charleston could touch and hold. That feels important to me.
Anyone in? I only need EIGHTSIXFIVEFOUR others ONE MORE. Thank you Sandi and Donna! And Ginny! And anonymous. And Dana, Mo and Gillan.