Some days are better. This was one of them.
The Amish have gathered corn into stately shocks along the ridge fields. The Amish school yard was empty today, but yesterday, young boys and girls in dark black capes, hats, pants, suspenders, and bright blue skirts, and emerald shirts, girls and boys together, stood like pins on the little baseball field, in the glow of the sugar maple grove beside the school. A girl was pitching, to a boy. Another girl was on first. But this morning was cold and rainy, as bunches of Amish children walked to the school along wet roads. Most of the little boys still walked shoeless, with red, bare wet feet.
The night before last, I showed up for my 6th writers' class, and read what I wrote for the first time aloud to the small group. There were murmurs of encouragement. This may be my last formal engagement with education, in my life. I'm really bad at being a student. But, I'm sure what I've learned will serve me well. I am sure I'll keep writing at fiction, because I have nothing to lose. The adept writers in my class actually give me hope that I will make progress, if I persist.
Just off the loom is a new batch of crying towels, each named after an aspect of tears, crying, sadness, joy, onions, or any occasion for tears. So, they have a text, as well as a texture. "Water Works," "Spilled Milk (half full / half empty)," "Father sighed, Mother cried," "Hang my tears out to dry," "When it rained down sorrow, it rained all over me," "Stop all this weeping, swallow your pride. You will not die, it was not poison. Bob Dylan." The names are fragments of song lyrics, old expressions, the ways we talk about our small and large griefs.
Wash cloths, face cloths, sauna cloths, all belong to our daily, private ritual of putting on a fresh face to meet the public. Crying towels are another acknowledgement of being human, of living with our sorrows. Tears are universal. My weaves are made to provide what textiles always have, comfort, warmth, memory, protection, cleanliness and absorption.
My utility blanket, in two panels is one such cloth. I wove it in my old familiar, Rosepath, with linen, wool, cotton rag, perle cotton, and raw silk and call it "Pot Calls Kettle Black," a name about naming. Names attach themselves to the weaves while I'm weaving, my thoughts adrift. The name belongs to the weave.
(Thanks to Harry and Barb in Dell for the pumpkin scene!)