Muscular and assertive shadows with claims to the olden days. Wisteria.
Shadows that process.
A delicate shadow that refuses your judgment.
Shadows warmed by wood.
A shadow with secrets.
A bevy of shadows? Or perhaps a parliament. No, a convocation!
Happy Monday all! We walked out with Finn this morning, flexible in our gear. Hats on, hats off, gloves on, gloves off. Langley windy, as usual. Warmed up by the bottom of the Cypress slope, as usual. We feel spring arrive through the lens of habit and garments. Finn sleeps now. Pooped.
This year on my birthday: 66. This year four days after my birthday: my mother will be gone for 27. It’s easy to keep track of her absence because she died a month before my younger son was born. I will always know how old he is.
Come a week in March, both boys will roll round one year older. THAT same week will mark my sister being gone four years.
The confluence of dates is not my doing. My mother died four days after my birthday and my sister died on one of my son’s birthdays.
Noticing is inescapable, in other words.
And it’s not morbid as it turns out. Listening to a conversation between Anderson Cooper and Stephen Colbert while walking Finn this morning opened up some pockets of gladness or recognition or something. They talked about grief. How it’s a gift. Or rather, how still being alive is a gift. It’s more nuanced than that though, given how grief acts as a vessel for remembrance, celebration.
Both of them experienced devastating losses early. Cooper’s father died of heart disease when he was ten and then eleven years later his brother jumped off a building, killing himself (while their mother watched). Colbert also lost his father at age ten, but in an accident. That accident also claimed the lives of two of his brothers. Their conversation is really worth a listen.
I was born just after sunset in a hospital that no longer exists. Here’s a haiku I wrote last week.
Cooper is documenting cleaning out his mother’s apartment. She died in 2019 and apparently she left notes for him everywhere. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while.
Looking at this doll without a note, how would D know that I dyed the wool, cotton strips, and linen myself? Or that I knit the legs in the waiting room of Children’s Hospital while a surgeon put pins in his arm, all the while praying for his bones to knit (get it?) and heal. Or that the striped top came from a shirt I wore frequently when he was little, the collar from a cuff of a sweater of his dad’s?
PS it didn’t occur to me until after posting this that year zero for me would’ve been sixty-seven years ago. But the syllables don’t work for the haiku form!
I often note the number of clothing scraps in a quilt. This time, it’s eight. Circled in red above.
Gifts show up too. The left-hand image below features one of Deb’s hand-dyed vintage scraps. The right-side central yellow also came from Deb, while the periwinkle windows were mailed from California, a gift from Nancy.
The white and blue cotton scraps, above, were given to me by Kristin Anne Freeman, way back when we were collaborating on the Hearts for Charleston Quilt. One reason I love the fabric is that it reminds me of her. Another reason is that the print delightfully reveals, to this eye anyway, house after house.
Now to bind, attach hanging sleeve, and sign.
It’s forty degrees warmer than yesterday, so we walked around Crystal Lake. Very pretty light. Almost a balmy wind (not really, but it wasn’t Arctic). Depicted above is the window that spontaneously shattered in the intense cold the night before last.
It’s one of my neighborhood’s most beautiful yards. I love walking past it.
This is a handful of the oak tree growth I mentioned recently. Definitely not gall, but what is it?
Also, one of the PCC collage artists posted another vantage of the leaning-back man which makes more clear that he is, indeed, a man.
I’m going to keep an eye out for images that are of my own making.
Lastly, Finn had a twerked nail that he was worrying. I tried to clip it so that it would stop annoying him and it was an utter mistake. He bled everywhere. I ended up putting his bed outside and giving him treats to distract him, while K ran out for that powder that stops bleeding (which we used to have and for some reason didn’t anymore). Naturally, the very act of departing to get the powder made the bleeding stop like magic.
You know you live in an affluent suburban neighborhood when sitting on the stoop (like now), you hear only tree frogs, cars occasionally passing, and one or two jets going overhead and you declare it HEAVEN.
You know you live in 2022 America, when your battered psyche swings between icy panic, disbelief, and both lazy and full-throttled escapism. Oh, and rage. Did I mention rage? Who knew how important wordle, the spelling bee, crossword and jigsaw puzzles would become to one’s mental health?
This week escapism overlapped with current events in the form of a gripping novel full of political intrigue. Such a page-turner, I devoured 500 pages in two and a half days (see escapism, above).
The very week the Washington Post disclosed that among the stolen papers at Mar-a-Lago was a document revealing the nuclear capabilities of another government, I read the thriller that Hillary Clinton co-authored with Louise Penny.
It’s pretty much ripped from the headlines.
Among the things to love is how the protagonist, a female Secretary of State, makes sweeping critical commentary about the former guy. He was called Eric Dunn, or moron, or corrupt bad actor — you get the idea.
And if you’re a fan of the Three Pines mysteries by Louise Penny (I’m looking at you, Jen), the detour to that Quebec town and the appearance of Chief Inspector Gamache are just added kicks.
I won’t spoil anything here by saying the plot turns on the infiltration of the US government at the highest levels by domestic terrorists, features nuclear bombs, and showcases the sharp wits of a few American politicians.
In other news, yesterday I mailed off two quilts to C. in California. Of my two boys, he’s the bigger gamer, hence the wall-hanging based on a first-person shooter game, Lost Planet. I sent him a vertical landscape as well. For some reason, it’s one of my favorites.
In closing, I’ll share a secret. K is soon making his first international trip in more than two years (he used to be gone about a week a month), and I can’t wait to make pancakes for dinner AT FOUR O’CLOCK!
PS I shouldn’t have said anything! A backyard neighbor is having their house power-washed. All our back windows now closed (and it’s still loud).
PPS Below’s the figure quilt is based on. It’s not the exact magazine ad, couldn’t find that. But you can see outline, weapon, garb, etc.