Tiny Stories, Tiny Tales

I ran over to the hardware store to get a new furnace filter (husband help) but decided to indulge myself by stepping into the quilt shop. Now quilt shops aren’t really my thing because I suck at fractions. Quilts ARE fractions and measuring and cutting.  I find when the moment comes to get  out my fractions and then measure and cut…well, the caring just goes out of me. Not caring shows up majorly in a quilt. or an unfinished one, I might add.

but quilt stores aren’t just a mecca for quilters, they’re a mecca for lovers of COTTON PRINTS. which I am. I picked up two pieces. The first is for an apron I’ve been meaning to embark on for a few years now (ahem). This print I’m not entirely sold on. Is it grandma? is it spring? is it feminine? could it be retro if I wanted it to be?  I wasn’t going for grandmas but the upbeat of it all.

what would you say? too grandma-y or just right?

The second piece I was got…well, it threw me for a loop when I saw it. I would never think to like such a print but holy crap, it pushes my happy buttons. I think it’s got this whole Tasha Tudor sort of thing going on. Yes, it’s that. And…I don’t think this shows up in the photo but it’s discolored in spots. I love that. I seem to discolor everything accidentally and to have it done for me…that’s discoloration without the guilt!

also…jeff and I met on the fourth and well…it’s a fourth of july sort of cloth. I know I can do Something with it.

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A Tale of Two Worlds

I walk past a window on my way to get a glass of water and note the snow falling outside.  As I fill my glass at the sink, my thoughts have already turned back to my work on the computer. I’m wrestling with the household budget, when I’ll fit some reading in, how to get on with my writing work, when I’ll exercise, when I’ll catch up with email correspondence and the list goes on and on.

Anytime I stop my work and look up, past the chatter in my mind, the snow catches me off guard as if it’s the first time I’m seeing it. I debate whether I can put off the grocery store to avoid driving in the snow.

This is the world of the everyday. It’s full of a thousand petty cares, some essential to living, others not as much but all in a lump group, tugging us along.

But there are times my mind needs something more refreshing, and it’s time to take a break. And that’s where music comes in—as powerful as Circe creating a circle of magic with her staff. I pick out music without words (or words I don’t understand). Today is Rimsky-Korsakov, tomorrow might be the film Phantom Thread’s soundtrack, or a piece of jazz played by Lucky Thompson.

As Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden starts, the circle opens. I come out of the everyday world and enter somewhere extraordinary, where beauty converges with life and cares and worries exit for a time. And all it takes is a little music, a little snow, and entering the moment that is now.

I watch the snow falling, noting the wind direction as the snow blows southeast and then drops and then exhales again southwards. I note the density of the snow, how it’s light and sparkling and then downy, heavy, and wet.  My thoughts finally still and I turn off the music. A heavy relief passes over my body and mind and I am still, watching the beauty of the world.

The Fog Rises Up and We Come Down to Meet It

This winter has frozen and thawed. And then frozen and thawed once again. With the most recent exhale of cold, fog rises up from the melting ground and wraps my town in a trance.

It softens the ragged tops of trees and transforms the dead yellowed grass into a carpet spreading out into unseen lands.  With foggy foreshortened vision, the world becomes finite and in the smallness, my wonder grows.  Trees become gloomy gods, bushes hunch over like mysterious beings with secrets hidden in twiggy souls. The sky blurs out and the land rises up to meet it and everything is reformed or brought down to its most basic form. It is easy to become lost and confused.

I walk the perimeter of my neighborhood park. We become redone together.  The playground becomes enchanted, strangely unknowable as the slides and swings soften and distort.

The ballpark’s high chain link fence however, becomes more sure.  The metal darkens and braces and holds against the diffused white light.  I stare at it through my camera lens, delighted by its ferocity while everything else around it wavers and melts.

A train passes over the hill and I can see nothing, it has been whitened out, but I can hear the busy clack of the iron wheels running on steel rails.

Geese fly overhead for a minute and then vanish.

I press on and the mist parts as I walk and so we walk together, softened, softening with the night closing in behind our steps.  The night takes everything behind us, rebuilds it like it wishes and then I step into my home and close the door.

Rain falls a few hours later and the fog mounts up, gently pressing at the windows but by morning, it is all gone and only little bits of ice remain on the walkway.