Monday, July 21, 2008

It begins

So, I'm trying to learn how to sew — God only knows why. I have two small children at home, we just moved from an apartment into a 3-story duplex and we are STILL not done unpacking, and I work part-time as a magazine editor and writer. I have decided to spend the little mad money we have on a sitter for 4 hours a day, 3 days a week, but even that time has been swallowed up with my other pursuit: losing 50 pounds in the next year.

Nevertheless, I am determined to learn this craft. My mother and my sister are incredible seamstresses—quilts which they have made for me and my family are among our most prized possessions. My mother is getting older, and both she and my dad have been after us kids to tell them what we want of theirs when they die. I used to find this a morbid activity, but I've come to see it as a way to start coming to terms with the fact that they may not be around here much longer. It got me to thinking about my childhood, and what things have stuck with me. My parents were not able to have much of their own parents' possessions after their deaths, and this seems to have haunted them in a way, particularly my father. As a result, they have amassed a huge houseful of things, which they now expect us to want and treasure and possibly fight over.

But I can't say that I really want to go to court with my siblings over my dad's netsuke collection. Interesting though they are, they represent a brief whimsy on his part, a year or two of collector's passion, which then was abandoned for something else. But there are things which represent not just what my parents collected, but who they were, the passions which were always there and never left them. For my dad, that was books. For my mom, quilting.

Maybe I want to do this to find some connection with her, to keep her with me once she's gone. Maybe I want to tap into that seam (ha!) of creativity that runs within my whole family.

Or maybe I just wanna make some cool shit.

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