Friday, May 1, 2009


if the adjective to title my life's past few days was "tender," these two moments would explain why.

first, I was on the train platform, waiting for the C to take me home. i had my headphones in, as usual, quite loud, as there were crowds of people and it was rush hour. in a city with so many people, i spend an alarming amount of time not speaking to anyone, or interacting with them really. so i'm standing on the yellow stripe that, were there an advancing train, might be taunting death, but really there were just so many nauseous waves of people and imposing crowds that i felt like i could breathe in the yellow. then came a touch that was very soft at my elbow. it was so gentle. i looked down at a small hand on my arm, then looked up into the face of a wrinkled old man pushing a cart. he appeared to be homeless, with all of his belongings dangling off of his cart, and he lingered at my arm with such softness and, yes, tenderness, that even several days later I am still thinking of that moment.

the second moment happened today. first, you should know about my mother's cedar chest. in it, she stored all of her wools, her yarns, her shawls, and other fibrous things that she would use with her loom. i was always fascinated by the cedar chest, because it held such treasures, and it had the most heady, delicious smell. it was cedar, but also sheep, and oils, and age. so today, the UPS man brought me a birthday package from my parents. among the cute things, the recipe book, the candle, and the soap, snuggled hanks and spools of yarn. maybe twenty or thirty different balls of wools and cottons, because my mother knows that i recently started knitting. i nearly broke at that point, because these were hers, but did not until i found the largest hank. it is undyed, ivory wool, loosely looped and about the size and mass of a pillow. i held it to my face, and it was the cedar chest. at home, there are usually heavy things on top of it, so i haven't had my face in it in years and years, but i recognized the smell all the same. it was my mother, my youth, my curiosity and the beginning of my art consciousness, infused into this hank of wool. and i got weepy, and my heart softened and squished like an overripe banana.


(hi charm city.)

1 comment:

jakey said...

tender tender times. both the moments and you as an individual.

i miss your face. let's play soon.