29 November 2007

One day long ago I started, with great energy, to explain something to my grandmother. She was about 80 at the time. I don’t remember what it was I thought so important to explain, but I do remember her reaction. She stopped me abruptly and said, “I don’t want to learn anything else, unless it is a card game.” As a fairly enthusiastic student of everything, I was appalled.

Yesterday, I offered to teach someone at work how to do something and she declined.

All I could think was, “Please God, never let that attitude overtake me.” The appendices to that prayer include, “may the higher end magazines never dumb themselves down to capture the beginner market (they have plenty)” and “may there always be classes and books teaching techniques I haven’t tried” and “may at least one new gadget or fiber or dye come out each year”.

02 November 2007

Enough for Cocktail Parties

Another quilt (called A Rose By Any Other Name) with no relation to this post.
My English teacher in my senior year of high school made us all learn to recite the first 3 lines of Beowulf in old English. He insisted that one need learn no more than that to get by at cocktail parties. This gave me a rather strange notion of what adults were up to at these functions. But he wasn't done-- my teacher allowed us the additional wickedness of "making it up after that because nobody would know."
It was, in a sense, license to dabble, to get the first steps right and then improvise, to join the club legitimately and then break its rules.
I can still quote those lines and it gave me a sort of relationship to that text that has me reading it again now.
And come to think of it, there probably is a relationship between that quilt and this post...