Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Quilting in Pajamas

My mom and sister and I took a long seven hour drive to go up to Rangely, Maine this past weekend.  (and no one was gravely insulted or snidely put down, not even once!) I was booked into an Inn, they were booked into an Inn, and we all had views of the Lake.  It was GORGEOUS, and it rained for all but one day.... Our Inns were not the same, I was in a lockdown situation, a grim and desparate attempt to start and finish an entire quilt within the allotted time.  I was in over my head, but sitting with a dozen or so women who were floating in pontoons of quilting experience, so they were coaching and encouraging the entire time.

that tone is too ridiculous to continue. 
I was a sewing dervish.  Had my own room, no tv, didn't carry my phone, was fed, didn't have to clean up anything, was poured coffee and brought snacks as I worked, or within 10 feet of my work. One morning I woke up early and decided to just 'go on up' at 6:30, to find that there was hot coffee and four other women ahead of me, quilting in pajamas. 
The women I was sitting with were sisters, all 3 of them quilters with experience and I was mildly in love with them. There was laughter all weekend...
It was the perfect situation for me with my hearing... all the social awkwardness was taken away because i was just as focused as anybody else - on a whirring machine which precludes conversation.
I thought about my grandmother all weekend, I was using her fabrics, sitting in her State, doing her thing.  I spent some time thinking and dodging thinking about my dad, her son, too... it will be nice when I can do that without feeling like drowning.  In thinking of her, there is an innate remembrance of him, and it is comforting to do it this way. My grandmother was a strong intellect, a steady physical presence and goodness in the world.  Her skill sets and ability to keep herself busy are legend to me. It is good to remember a model like that.  She had a bum husband for a long time, though she loved him. And when she was in her sixties, she began to quilt.  All her children and grandchildren got quilts, and many of her great-grandchildren. (17-30 quilts.. seriously. and thats just the offspring.)
I missed my kids and hubsJ fleetingly, but not painfully, because I was so fixated.... I missed my husband tenderly while having a large male masseuse rub my hands during a chair massage on Saturday.  Even typing it feels sortof soft porn-like.  pbbst.  My hubsj does have many good points, and his sheer physicality is one of them.  I didn't even go to my room after meals, just 'back to the grind'.... lovely.  i read a little bit of an Audrey Hepburn autobiography, which I have been wanting to do FOREVER.  and it was crap. but i did learn what i was looking to learn. so there.

In the last hour of the drive home, my mother and I talked about our grief processes.  I worry so much, now that a year without my dad is finishing up, about her deep loneliness for him. . . and her frailty and anxieties seem to be growing... and I have my own worries for myself and this life i have had for such a long time.  and what is so difficult for me, in a way, is the realization - or i don't even know if 'realization' is right... the recognition that the only way through is to keep plodding on.  while i may feel like lying down in the middle of the driveway after putting the kids on the bus, and it would be fine if i did that... eventually, i have to get myself up... i do.  nobody is coming to rescue, or even to give a hand up.  ( maybe if i were literally there still when the bus got back, i imagine the kids or the busdriver might give me a hand up, but i don't think i'll wait to experience that particular thing..) I find it is something that I have to re-learn time and time again, and maybe it is so strong right now because I've lost my faith, and my father all in one, and the startle of it is what makes it so 'truthy' . 
I'm heavy with the plodding these days, and I am looking for more.  MOOORE.   MOWER. 

Maybe i'm looking for a landscaper? pbt.


Jen said...

WOW!!! That is amazing. You did it!!!

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

I just love it so much. Beautiful.

I am reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed. If you haven't read it, I would recommend it as I think of you every time I pick it up.

MotherOfGooses said...

That is collosial! Bravo! Nice job Kate!

MotherOfGooses said...

I love this post. It makes me feel cosy and hopeful all at once.