"...the more truthfully recorded details of life per square inch you can get on a sheet of paper, the more 'literary' you are. That's my definition, anyway. Telling detail. Fresh detail. The good writers touch life often...So now do you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life...Well, there we have the first thing I said we need. Quality, texture of information."
"It is not doing perfectly this or that particular work or exercising a particular profession perfectly that grafts us into union with the Church; it is being so driven by Christ, wherever we are, that this small action of ours in the world is truly his.
It is not because we can organize the world that we will be grafted in marriage to the Church, but it is in carrying within us each person in the world, each person that we meet; it is not in organizing their lives for them but in giving them the right to live in our life; in sharing with them everything that we are, all that is ours, from our bread to God's grace."
"The object of salvation is that which is unique, irreplaceable, incommunicable - that which is myself alone. This true inner self must be drawn up like a jewel from the bottom of the sea, rescued from confusion, from indistinction, from immersion in the common, the nondescript, the trivial, the sordid, the evanescent.
We must be saved from immersion in the sea of lies and passions which is called 'the world'. And we must be saved above all from that abyss of confusion and absurdity which is our own worldly self. The person must be rescued from the individual. The free son of God must be saved from the conformist slave of fantasy, passion, and convention. The creative and mysterious inner self must be delivered from the wasteful, hedonistic, and destructive ego that seeks only to cover itself with disguises.
To be 'lost' is to be left to the arbitrariness and pretenses of the contingent ego, the smoke-self that must inevitable vanish. To be 'saved' is to return to one's inviolate and eternal reality and to live in God."
There's been a chickadee flapping against our front windows yesterday and again today. I heard a tapping in the spare room and saw him trying to get in. It was so cloudy, it can't be that he was seeing his reflection; still, I headed over to pull down the shade but Dolly was there before me, leaping onto the sill and trying to get him through the glass. I think that scared him off.
I tried again with parchment paper underneath the fabric, but it still stuck in the machine, so today I made a buttonhole by hand. It wasn't so bad; the fuzzy fabric covers up my stitching, so I guess it's okay.
But this is why I wanted real buttonholes with these great buttons. I only need to make two more, but not today.
I am very happy to say that my robe is almost completed - I need to hem the sleeves and I can wear it tonight.
The buttons - which I really love - aren't on because the fuzzy chenille was sticking in the sewing machine and messing up the buttonholes - I wasn't able to make them. I think I'll have to do them by hand, which I dread. I once tried sewing buttonholes by hand and they came out looking awful, but I don't know what else to do. (please don't suggest bound buttonholes!)
You can see the yellow has a wavy stripe while the original is kind of a narrow line, but it doesn't seem to matter - I think it looks fine. I am relieved.
See, my servant shall prosper, he shall be raised high and greatly exalted. Even as many were amazed at him - so marred was his look beyond human semblance and his appearance beyond that of the sons of man - so shall he startle many nations, because of him kings shall stand speechless; for those who have not been told shall see, those who have not heard shall ponder it.
Who would believe what we have heard? To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up like a sapling before him, like a shoot from the parched earth; there was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him, nor appearance that would attract us to him. He was spurned and avoided by people, a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity, one of those from whom people hide their faces, spurned, and we held him in no esteem.
Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, while we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted. But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed. We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; but the Lord laid upon him the guilt of us all.
Though he was harshly treated, he submitted and opened not his mouth; like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers, he was silent and opened not his mouth. Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away, and who would have thought any more of his destiny? When he was cut off from the land of the living, and smitten for the sin of his people, a grave was assigned him among the wicked and a burial place with evildoers, though he had done no wrong nor spoken any falsehood. But the Lord was pleased to crush him in infirmity.
If he gives his life as an offering for sin, he shall see his descendants in a long life, and the will of the Lord shall be accomplished through him.
Because of his affliction he shall see the light in fullness of days; through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear. Therefore I will give him his portion among the great, and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty, because he surrendered himself to death and was counted among the wicked; and he shall take away the sins of many, and win pardon for their offenses.
"There is only one temptation. All particular temptations are expressions of this one original or 'primordial' temptation. This is the temptation to believe that the fulfillment of the desires of the human heart depends entirely on us. Dependence on another leaves us at the mercy of what we cannot control. Therefore, we are tempted to reject all forms of dependence. The most radical form of dependence is love. Therefore, the original temptation is to deny that our existence is a pure and perfect gift of an infinite Love that deserves to be loved in return. The fullest revelation that God is love is the Incarnation of Christ. Therefore, the primordial temptation is to reject the Incarnation and its consequences."
They're hearing confessions three evenings this week and we were there last night. On my side we were lined up along the wall, and we kept hearing music - it was Renaissance music - faintly. We realized it came from the speaker nearby. What a brilliant idea! I said to the young man (teenage) in front of me, "nice music!" and he smiled and agreed. It provided the perfect background for Holy Week, and atmosphere for what we were doing there.
Miss Sweetikins had a birthday Sunday.She is twelve but no one could ever tell; she plays like a wild thing. She and Dolly do not get along, and there's a lot I could say about that but I feel weary at the thought of it. Suffice it to say that Dolly is starting to be tired of staying in seclusion day after day and is coming forth way more than she has in ages. Thank God!
"We have grown accustomed to making a clear distinction between Peter the rock and Peter the denier of Christ - the denier of Christ: that is Peter as he was before Easter; the rock: that is Peter as he was after Pentecost, the Peter of whom we have constructed a singularly idealistic image. But, in reality, he was at both times both of these..."
I'd bought a quilt from Garnet Hill to throw on the back of a couch. It was a great sale - a twin size, all cotton. Because of that, it was very heavy; I couldn't imagine ever using it on a bed. Cotton batting may be better environmentally, but it weighs so much. I also knew it wouldn't fit in the washer. A dilemma.
It suddenly came to me; cut the quilt in half! So I did that, and each piece is on the back of one of the couches (they are more like love-seats, really). I have to think about what I'll use to bind the raw edges, but for now they aren't visible and I have two washable pieces. It's manageable!
"The wicked said among themselves, thinking not aright:
Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training. He professes to have knowledge of God and styles himself a child of the Lord. To us he is the censure of our thoughts; merely to see him is a hardship for us. Because his life is not like that of others, and different are his ways. He judges us debased; he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure. He calls blest the destiny of the just and boasts that God is his Father." - Wisdom: 2:1a, 12-16
"That is the key to history...Some fatal flaw always brings the selfish and the cruel people to the top and it all slides back into misery and ruin."
My beloved robe is wearing very thin in places, near the shoulders especially.
Yesterday I laid it out on the floor to draw a pattern piece for the top part; the "skirt" is fine. It's a soft, dusty turquoise color which I couldn't match, so I bought some yellow - it will have to be two-tone. It's nerve-wracking to have to do this. I hope it comes out well!
I finished a third Dottie Angel frock - I had bought fabric for three of them last fall. I'm terrible at sewing bias binding around edges - can't seem to get it nice. So I made squares of grosgrain ribbon and stitched them in either corner of each pocket!
"I myself will look after and tend my sheep. As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep. I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. I will lead them out from among the peoples and gather them from the foreign lands; I will bring them back to their own country and pasture them upon the mountains of Israel [in the land's ravines and all its inhabited places].
In good pastures will I pasture them, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing ground. There they shall lie down on good grazing ground, and in rich pastures shall they be pastured on the mountains of Israel."
This seems to be the best I can do to show the knit dress on. It's very comfy, as one would expect of that material.
I didn't seam the sections together; I placed one section under the other above it, top stitched on the machine, and then hand embroidered a herringbone stitch over it. I also herringboned along the neck. These were fabrics that I had, so I just put them together.
It was a year ago when I posted about this dress, and I guess I never said another word about it.
Well, I added that other layer of the persimmon knit, and wore it to work one day. I did not like myself in it. I was pleased that it came out well - it's interesting to try to copy something from scratch, but it didn't look well on. Surely it could be fixed in some way, but how? I left it hanging in my closet.
Then we had a mild spell last week and I was panicked that there weren't enough in-between-the-weather-extremes pieces in my wardrobe. I saw it hanging there and put it on. Immediately I could see that it was too long, so I cut off two inches (these knit styles are great - no hemming necessary) which gave the whole a better balance. I also modified the "points" at the sides, which seemed a little too extreme.
Now I have a new dress that looks good, is very comfortable, and I like it. And rather more "sedate" than the original. What took me so long?
"The reason trees share food and communicate is that they need each other. It takes a forest to create a microclimate suitable for tree growth and sustenance. So it's not surprising that isolated trees have far shorter lives than those living connected together in forests."
Spring has gone away, and it's winter again now. But not before we had two more days of warmer, and yes - even balmy! - weather.
I had to work Friday, and patrons were coming in and saying it was over seventy outside, but we enjoyed it, too. We opened the front door and some windows and let the breezes blow in.
Yesterday was the same, though it wasn't supposed to be so warm. It was wonderful, and the sound of the blackbirds squeaking and creaking (what they sound like to me) was almost enough to fool me into believing spring had come. This doesn't happen too often. I'm grateful. Today it was thirty degrees cooler.
They did say it would be in the sixties today, but it wasn't just a lovely, warm day - it was truly spring-like. I sat outside and kitted for a while, without a sweater. It was a bit cool, but really nothing. And the concrete step was warm to sit on!
I had a temptation to prune the roses or some such thing, but it's too early for that here. Very unFebruary-ish.
I like my flannel nightgowns, and I got a funny tear on one of them. In front of the underarm, near the seams. A funny place, and the rest of it in good condition.
First I cut a piece of cotton and pinned it below the tear, intending to reinforce the whole thing and do some sashiko type stitching all around it. It was awkward trying to finagle it - I wasn't able to get the torn edges to meet back together again, but I stitched the piece with white thread all the way around the tear, and then did some reinforcing stitches in light pink, in three rows. I didn't think to take a picture, but here's the back:
You can see some of the stitches here.
When I finished the hand stitching, I still had the patch fabric showing through in the center - not that I minded that, but it was a thin piece of stuff, and I didn't think it would hold up to wear. I decided I had to make a patch to go on top.
I found some white sheeting and cut a larger triangle than the area I was patching, then pressed each of the sides under. I basted it on and then chose burgundy thread and a scallop machine stitch.
I'm all for making patches look obvious! Here you can see just where it is on the nightgown -
So it ended up covering my hand stitches, but it's a learning process. I think I needed both a bottom and a top patch to keep the whole area strong, so all's well that ends well. I hope it holds up.