cloth

I drive through town, a mum slipping away between taxi duties. Our little streets, never hot spots of night time excitement, feel a little restful again. The man with his camera by our feature rock (don't you have a feature rock in your small town? You should) has the tripod packed up and slung over his shoulder, ready to leave. I am, as you know, one of the lucky ones. My friends, neighbours and menfolk are all above ground and alive. The guilty living clamber to do something and I remind myself that my opportunities to help, to 'do' something, will come over the months and years, long after the media has gone, but before it recedes enough to become the stuff of school social studies projects, like Brunner and the Wahine.

At the Blackball Museum of Working Class History we will find a way to make a permanent tribute. In 2009 on May Day a CTU representative gave a speech on workplace safety and the idea of a wall of tribute to those who lost their lives in workplace accidents was mooted.

I have a new blog on my sidebar: Found Stitched and Dyed: a whirled-wide sewing circle for gatherers, menders, dyers and dreamers. I find the posts quite moving, as they relate fabric histories and human histories in their many layers. There is so much there which is very quotable and I highly recommend a read through even if fabric is not your passion. Here is a sample:
I’ve acquired a deep respect for the way cloth behaves. It breaks down, wears out and is then repaired and reconstructed. These sensibilities resonate for me: Cloth is very powerful when it retains traces of its previous life, gathers history and becomes something new. (from this post)
As I think of fabric as both reality and metaphor, I also think of our community here on the West Coast, wounded irrevocably, but also able to bind together to darn the rent.

There seems to be something healing about making fabric into clothes at this time, a faint sense of creation as a palliative to death. I got the blue dress to the stage where I could
try it on yesterday. It is at least a size too big almost everywhere and also the volume of serviceable blue reminds me of a nun's habit so that can go aside for future dress ups or school plays. Now I am making a nightshirt. I cut the fabric, an old sheet handed down from my Mum, last year, using a pattern from Mum's extensive pattern stash. I am about a third of the way through getting that to wearability.

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