Poetry

I am poured out like water,
And all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
It has melted away within me.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
I am laid in the dust of death.

Dogs have surrounded me;
A band of evil men encircles me,
They have pierced my hands and feet.
I can count all my bones;
Men look and stare upon me.
They divide my garments among them
And cast lots for my clothing.
Ps. 22:14-18

To me, this passage is extremely moving. Nothing like a little old testament to shake off the cliches of modern poetry, and yet despite it’s age the emotions conjured by these words are entirely relatable. It’s weird how, when we are emotionally drained or stressed or discouraged we talk about those things in terms of their physical effects. A potsherd is a piece of pottery, not necessarily whole, like a pot, but maybe just a piece of broken pottery. Gardeners know that unglazed clay pottery absorbs water readily because it is so porous and dry. This is good imagery for a person weary of injustice. Today we might say “bone-dry” to express the same sensation, and I already used the “drained” to explain this. This passage is an obvious comparative to Jesus’ cross experience. It is from this chapter Jesus quotes when he cries out “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani.” We don’t know what David is weary of, but his words point to the suffering of his progeny, in eerie concomitance between metaphor and reality.

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Cufflinks

I love heirlooms. A cherished thing, no matter how small, must carry with it the weight of generations of love and family. there is irradiating mystery in an heirloom. No one in the present knows the reason the first person fell in love with the cufflinks or the brooch, but that heirloom has been imbued with that first infatuation, which it then passes it on to the holder.

I love heirlooms because I love history. Family history is so closely related to personal history; like an inherited predisposition or phenotype, an heirloom tells a person about the people from whom he or she came. It is more than tradition, for tradition is too often used as a comfort and a mechanism of exclusivity. Passing on beloved gifts from one generation to another is a symbolic and reflexive practice meant to remind the giver and the getter that they are more than an individual, that they are members of a broader sphere of association which neither through exile nor self-impelled wandering can they be extricated.

On Mother’s Day these thoughts are interestingly significant. My grandmother died eight months ago, leaving her five children and twelve grandchildren a legacy of motherhood uncommon in most families. From leaving her entire life and family behind in Illinois and moving to the Philippine jungle, to giving birth twice in her home there, my grandmother personified sacrifice. I would have loved to see her with her young children all around her, joy glinting in her eye as she formulated, in her mind, the way she would sew a dress for her baby girl. Along with her arms and a pair of cufflinks, I inherited her passion for creating. When I sew I remember that I am not a lone seamstress, but come from a long line of women who sewed for fun and necessity. Not that she couldn’t afford to buy clothes. Necessity came from a biological, psychological need to produce, from her own imagination, an ontic piece of creativity. I know this is true because she passed this gene on to me.

Earrings made for my mother from my grandmother's cufflinks

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The Quilt, part 2

After a bit of frustration and confusion as to how my sashing and squares ended up having such varying widths, I finally managed to put the rows of squares together. The completed product actually looks acceptable. So what if the corners don’t quite match up? The squares are made from punk rock t-shirts, and perfectly squared quilt piecing is so old-fashioned anyhow. Defiance, that’s how I’ll foot it.

  

 

Next step: Find and attach some sort of batting and backing to make this into a real quilt! I’m trying to make this quilt with 100% recycled and repurposed material, so I’m going to try to talk the bf into letting me use the old childhood comforter which he still uses on his bed. I will not mention the comforter’s theme, but I will say that he need not fret over losing his friends Mark, Harrison, Carrie and that tall hairy guy.

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The Quilt.

One of my favorite pastimes is devising clever uses for garbage-bound household things. Ever since I graduated I’ve noticed a marked increase in my creative abilities, so the last 3 months have been spent in fostering this awesome my skill. I have always been the bookwormy person with very little external artistic talent so I guess now that I’ve reached a pinnacle of sorts in my intellectual ability it’s time to put a muzzle on the left brain and let the right side take the lead.

Crafting is a hobby of mine, but only when it’s easy. So last month I challenged myself. My boyfriend was cleaning out his room before moving to a new condo, and, being the sentimental sweetheart that he is, could not bear to part with his massive collection of T-shirts. He’d acquired dozens and dozens of cotton t-shirts at concerts over the years, but hated wearing them because they were too boxy and unflattering.  Inspiration struck that moment as I stood marvelling over the collection of shirts which really served as memories. My great aunt once made a quilt out of my grandfather’s motorcycling t-shirts, and why couldn’t I? I already knew how to sew, and, if I took it slow I’d figure it out sooner or later.

Mi machina.

I began by cutting out 10″ squares from the shirts, using a cardboard template and exacto knife. Then I ironed fusible interfacing to the back of the squares to keep the cotton from stretching out of shape.

I made 30 of these, some blank but most with either the front or back design of the boy’s favorite memory-shirts. Next, i added a 2.5″ sashing from natural linen material I picked up at the thrift store, to make the squares pop.

Next step: sew all the sashed squares in one row together, then sew all the rows together, while praying that all the lines meet up!

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