The stuff we save

  
Here I am a little tongue-tied, a little at a loss, and wanting to show up anyway.

It’s a cloudy, warm Wednesday in February. The dog barks. The fish tank hums. I feel suspended between things, which is nice because my suspense is filled with silent freedom, but it’s not so great because I feel a little unhinged, not as in crazy, but as in not connected.

The cloth drought continues. It’s kinda killing me. I can’t stand finishing big projects and I have three right now: two bed quilts for my firstborn and the Hearts for Charleston Quilt (which is proving harder to assemble on the vertical than I would have liked).

Today I cleared out a downstairs closet because getting the vacuum out had become nightmarish. Boxes of fabric stowed ‘temporarily’ had tipped over and gotten mixed up with unpressed shirts, unpaired socks, camera bags and cleaning supplies. Ugh!

Just folding and sorting the cloth made me feel better. And the closet is a closet again. Later, I’ll iron some of that fabric while watching TV. I will like that, too.

Next week come: my birthday, the anniversary of my mother’s death (it will be 20 years), then: Valentine’s Day. It’s a weird blend.

My mother died when I was 39 and pregnant. More than once, I have wished for her ‘take’ on my boys even though if she were alive, I’d be batting away her pronouncements as if my survival depended on it. Her judgments were painted with a broad brush and right to an obnoxious degree.

Recently, I revised a memoir piece in which I ask for my mother’s advice and found I really could hear her voice. She was saying things pithy, dumb-sounding, irreverent, and wise.

I plan to submit the piece to a literary journal before tax day. I swear! As Deb Lacativa messaged me recently, “It’s time to start collecting rejection notices.”

So, to close, in the spirit of housekeeping, aging, and examining what satisfies, I dragged this link out of the drafts folder: Candy Chang

Several years ago, she painted blackboards on the sides of buildings and stenciled a collection of lines reading: “BEFORE I DIE, I WANT TO _______.” Passersby filled in the blanks.

BEFORE I DIE, I WANT TO: finish a novel; see my sons get married; hold my grandchildren; eat antipasto in Italy; buy fabric in India; take K to The Fat Hen in South Carolina; sunbathe in the Caribbean; knit a sweater that actually fits somebody.

What do YOU want to do before you die?

 

The internet on our PC is broken (I just love saying that… it’s kind of like announcing “the electricity is broken”).  I am posting with laptop and phone, something I never do. 

3 thoughts on “The stuff we save

  1. Liz

    This post just rings so true … every line of it breathes reality.

    I find myself incredibly fortunate in that many of the things I most wanted to do before I die have already been accomplished. Well, not accomplished by me exactly … my daughters’ marriages to fine men we genuinely love and the grandchildren who grace our lives are things not of my doing. But they are the reason I am much contented these days.

    I do think I’d like to make a quilt before I die. Never thought I’d say that.

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      Launching children – what do we DO and what do we merely witness? Pretty unanswerable. But to the extent you did launch, you did encourage and soothe, helping to clarify strengths and direction — making a quilt is nothin’!!!

      Reply

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