Sunday, November 8, 2009


There are ways to avoid the raking of the leaves - hiding out in the sewing room is a really good choice. This one got a really really REALLY long and good walk first -

And then I got busy. Pulled out the Christmas project that wants to be completed, but never makes it. In me there exists a sentimental place that envisions Christmas quilts on every bed in the house. So far, I've only ever accomplished one, but that is about to change. This piece is moody - just as those deserted gas stations are at night, with their Christmas trees bundled together under the cold lights, forgotten. I hope to enliven it with those old fashioned colored bulbs, stranded around the borders. I saw this quilt in a magazine quite a few years ago and want to attribute it to Alex Anderson, but I hesitate - I'm just not sure about that.

What I AM sure about is that the "silly season" is upon us and it already feels like a stone in the shoe. I am beginning to understand how desperate people become even more so when the holiday tugs at every fiber - sending that message that one HAS to be jolly - that peace on earth is a possibility, etc., while their own lives tell a very different story. I know that this sounds morose, but it has to be said:

When I was walking Harley in the orchard at dusk, he suddenly threw himself forward and started baying at something between the rows. Frankly, I froze. And then, in that half light I saw movement - and something in me panicked because one NEVER expects to see anything other than wildlife out there unless it's picking or pruning time. It was a man, shabbily dressed, coming toward me with a strange expression - I asked him not to proceed as the dog was now foaming at the mouth. He explained to me that he was picking up the 'drops', and that there were so many. I could see that the pockets in his old coat were bulging with apples and I suspect that the smile I offered was churlish, at best. (In that moment I lost my manners, my civility, almost my bladder!) I was frightened and like a tour guide, walked backward until I couldn't see that man, and then Harley and I both ran the rest of the way home.

People are hungry. People are having difficulty feeding their families. There is a lot of poverty and suffering all around us. It's hard to view the Christmas decorations (BEFORE Thanksgiving, for Godssake) with this knowledge so present. The only thing that I know how to do is to knit warm hats and sew warm quilts for the homeless. That's what I do. I am without the kind of discretionary income that would make a difference, but I know that being warm on a cold December night is a comfort to a homeless soul, so that is what I do. There's a great group out there called Margaret's Hopechest CHECK THEM OUT, and maybe you'll want to help, too.


Paulina said...

You have given me much to think about. It will be a deep entry on my blog. Now I know my raison d'etre for next year. The many uses for frivolity. I am humbled by this entry. It is no longer about giving a little piece of chocolate to a woman who looks sad when she comes to my register. Although it counts, ultimately it has to, or it can, be more than that little gesture.

nicole said...

graphic reality check. if it weren't for the occasional view of things like your xmas quilt in the making, i'm not sure any of us could bear the weight of life on life's terms anymore.

it is a comfort to notice like minded women's view of the balancing act btw beauty and reality.

Bea said...

Oh that is so creepy. I would have been scared silly. Why would he keep coming toward you? I'm glad you and the dog made it away safely.