Thursday, June 12, 2008

Down By The River Side

If you’re going to sew anyway, where would you rather do it?---at home with the cat, in the cool shade of the house? Or down by the river, in the shade of a tree? If you grew up in Ireland, where the slightest glimmer of sunshine or the merest hint of warm weather cause the natives to kick up their heels, down tools and go cavorting gleefully into the great outdoors, the decision is simple.

I’ve been working on some hand piecing since I finished the star quilt. I hadn’t exactly planned on starting a new project. But the universe decided I needed to make it, so without asking my brain for permission, my hands started cutting and stitching. If consulted, my brain would have had to say

“No. Have you looked at the pile of unfinished symphonies in the closet? No, no, NO!”

But since the brain was left out of the decision making process, all that negativity was avoided.

The hands have been busy. A little every day. I’d forgotten how much I love “handwerk.” Just me and the needle, the thread and the fabric……And my mind wide open for traipsing across the plains and plateaus of LIFE.

You look at a woman sitting by the river, stitching. And you think you’re seeing a woman sitting by the river, stitching.

But you’re not.

You’re seeing a woman on a journey, a journey through the “caverns of her mind.” A woman tentatively picking her way through a minefield of intimate relationships, stepping gingerly lest she cause an explosion, and, at times, casting caution to the winds and speaking her mind---a dangerous habit. A woman trying to understand why, when all the players speak the same language, it is SO difficult to communicate.

Because egos are involved.
Expectations are involved.
Personalities are involved.
And dreams.

And each player’s personality, each player’s expectations, and each player’s dreams are different. Oy.

Suddenly that stitcher by the river, that dreamer, that luster after peace and harmony….. leaps from her reverie in the grass back to the real, sun-dappled world of the river bank.

With a loud, indignant yelp.

Feeling a sharp sting on her sandalled foot, she looked down and discovered she was sitting in the middle of basic training for an army of ants.

Nevertheless, progress has been made, the state of the world has been pondered. Conclusions have been drawn, that we’re a lot like the ants, running in circles, wringing our hands, agonizing over the twists and turns of our petty, insignificant lives, when Life, in his big, agricultural, hob-nailed boots can stomp all over us at any moment and obliterate us. I’m just hoping he lets me linger by the river ‘til I’m finished my stitching.


riseoutofme said...

Moll, you know, you can do too much stitching .... Time to get out of your head, don your own agricultural boots and start stomping AND yelling AND screeching like the proverbial banshee .... Speak their language but follow your own path.

I've a very good atlas, would you like to borrow it?

Anonymous said...

Stupid nature - ruined a perfectly good afternoon for you!

Thimbleanna said...

Ouch! I hope those ants didn't hurt too much. That was beautiful Molly. What a writer you are -- just beautiful. {Sigh}

molly said...

You can never do too much stitching Rise, especially if that's what's helping you hold on to your sanity! Speaking of sanity---how goes the window debacle?

You missed the point Tracey! It was a wonderful afternoon, in spite of the ants,ano Anna, tey didn't sting too much---and thank you for the compliment!

Tanya Brown said...

Oh, dear. Ants. How much progress, how much of the world's philosophical development, has been interrupted by a burst of formic acid to the rump?

I do wonder if your loved ones are as careful of your feelings as you are of theirs. Not that my wondering helps anything, just ... do take care of yourself.

meggie said...

It seems to be, the woman who wants to avoid confrontation, & considers everyone else's feelings, is usually the one who is 'taken for granted'.
As one of my friends said, her friend treated her family like sh*t & they worshipped the ground she walked upon!

Brooke - Little Miss Moi said...

Dear molly. Sounds very idyllic - other than the ants, of course.

Stomper Girl said...

I love thinking about you daydreaming and stitching by a river in the sunlight! But I think you are too forgiving of the ants.

Anonymous said...

hey Meggie,great writing!,and your funny comment above about who gets taken for granted is so true.My ex's mother was an absolute tyrant. Jeez you should have read her glowing tributes in the paper from the family.Worship would be an understatement.Gob-smacking.Had to sit down!( Oh, all the chairs are taken - no stay it's alright, I'll just go in the other room...")

Kacey said...

I love quilting...piecing by hand or machine, but my favorite part is picking fabrics in a really great quilt stores. My oldest daughter and I have planned a trip to Amish country in Holmes County, Ohio...really, just for the peace of it. Your post sounds like you are feeling the sands of time running out too quickly. I didn't feel that way until after seventy, when I realized that life expectancy was just about where I was. I don't really want to go, when there is still so much to accomplish. Perhaps you need to take some of your hand piecing and follow the husband to wherever he is. Sounds like he doesn't need a wife, but rather a property manager.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

God I love the way you write.

Get repellant and go back to the river.
There is room for you there, too.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

StitchinByTheLake said...

When my husband asks, "exactly what is it that you love so much about that handwork?" I just smile. There's no way to explain that he will understand. But you've captured the essence of it beautifully. Thank you for speaking the words in my heart! Blessings, marlene

Birdydownunder said...

yes a fate I have too I ponder the problems of myself and the world whilst stitching. Oh that we could grab control for just one day. We could sit and say. All is well in the world at last. And I bet we would do it in a day as well. hugs

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Molly, I love and adore this post. You enchant me without fail.

I have often felt the hobnailed boots of life stomping over my heart, as we all have, and it is absolutely vital to have a respite which I do not regard as an escape from life but rather, an escape TO life, the one within.

Thank you for a brilliant explanation of why communications are so often unsuccessful even without a language barrier: Egos, expectations, personalities and dreams.

I came here for a reliable good read, and found a bodhi tree. Thank you.