Tuesday, August 02, 2005

mantle

an elderly neighbor died recently. i had failed to make my planned visits to assuage her loneliness. i was struggling through my own stuff then, at least that is how i justify it now. but it was a great failure of mine i cannot forget.

at her estate sale, she was a gardener, so i knew i could get a few things i needed and lo and behold the weedpopper i had just broken the handle off of, was there waiting for me.

walking through someone's house and seeing the contents of their cupboards laid bare is quite a shocking experience. to see how much was unwanted by her family gave me the creeps. i learned a lot about what was important to her if these unwanted trifles were what was for sale.

an entire room full of crochet paraphanelia. but i have what i need. i am trying to learn how to knit and the old gal blessed me with a whole collection of knitting needles for about six bucks. what a blessing.

her daughters were there and when they learned i knew how to crochet, they asked if i could do something for them. they wanted to commission me to finish an afghan she had begun.

i know grief. i could not feast upon the spoils of their agony. so i said yes.

the old gal, i don't even remember her name, had crocheted a whole box full of colorful circles from which she intended to fashion a twin afghan. the daughters asked if i could make two instead of one. i agreed.

when the circles sat in my livingroom, i decided to divide them and did so quickly, without unifying colors. i figured i'd do that later. i was just going to assemble them randomly, i'm not into patterns.

but i did have a small section she had begun. and she was into patterns.

so i could not violate her pattern. i had to at least try to repeat her pattern. and it got me thinking: who will pick up my pages and lines and pens when i'm gone to finish what i've begun?

surely i failed this woman in life, but i hope to bring her daughters some small comfort. i'm nearly done with the first. but as i hold the crocheted circles she labored to create it makes me delight in her creativity. something i missed out on because i couldn't walk two doors down.

she was a fibre-artist. and i attempt to complete what she began, an apprenticeship of sorts. i just don't know that i'm able to replicate what she had begun, but i'm trying.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

what a lovely (and sobering, and thought-provoking) post and a beautiful thing you are doing

thanks!