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There is a space between what we say and what we think, and that gap is never fully realized. But we can continue to try to connect the points, and eventually maybe we can get somewhere.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I dreamt I was doing a handstand

If I were to write like Hemmingway I would start off with something I know to be true. One true sentence about anything. So I guess I could start off writing about where I work. I don't want to call it my job, because it doesn't feel like a job to me. Jobs are places where you go to sell your soul to the system. The monetary system that is. I do not have a job. I work at a store in Soho that sells knitting, sewing, and other craft supplies. It's not an art supply store, and it's not a huge department sized craft store that is named after some superior but friendly sounding person like Michael's or Joanne's. It is a store of adequate size and capacity, that is decorated as if a little girl with OCD went crazy with her knitting needles. The walls wave with the textures of the color coded yarns and fabrics against the beach wood shelves and floors. In the store you could get lost for hours in the seemingly endless patterns of cotton. You could stare at each section of the fabric, and think you've gotten to know the language of each print, only to find that when you've made your choice it opens up to reveal a something unexpected. The fabrics are deceiving that way. They line up side by side, an army of predestined prints, but hiding their true colors. They show only their most flattering side, the lean side of the bolt, as a teaser for your eyes. Because of this it is hard to know which fabrics to choose, and often customers will rip the bolts of fabric out of the walls to suspend their curiosity for a moment, and then, disappointed by face of the fabric, clumsily shove their pick back into the wall. This is not something that irritates me, but it is something that I follow. I love to admire the walls when all the corners are cleanly tucked, and the raw edges of where the freshest cuts have been made are hidden in between one fabric and another. I comb the walls for small signs of wrinkled edges or upside down bolts, and when I find something imperfect I try my best to make it look right.

Perhaps it is because of my love for sewing that causes me to drift to this part of the store. To hang around lazily behind the enormous cutting table, sipping luke warm coffee until someone comes asking for a yard or two or for a fabric to be pulled down from the top row. In between measuring, cutting, and folding I fall into the colors of the wall, swimming through all the possibilities of every one of the fabrics. I try to get to know each one as best I can. To get to know their weight, their use, their possibilities. I try to picture each one in their future form, perhaps as a small piece in a large quilt, or a pleated skirt with matching zipper, or maybe even napkins for the next dinner party.

I let my mind wander very often like this. The result of which is always the same: all I want to do with my time is sew. Not to sew in the sense of how a factory worker sews, or a tailor sews, or even an inexperienced fashion designer sews. I want to sew with no priorities and no expectations. To start with an idea and allow it to evolve naturally into itself. To start with two yards of fabric planned for a skirt, and end up with a dress that originally was meant to wrap with a waist tie, but instead has an aline skirt and a last minute added long zipper up the front with short sleeves sewn at the end and collar that trails off on one side because I didn't like how it looked as a regular collar. That is the kind of sewing I want to do.

So in the end is this something that I know to be true? This little store where I happen to pass and create a substantial amount of my time, energy, and dreaming? I suppose it is to me. This reality of seductive fabrics with an allure into a world of limitless creation is perhaps something of my own romanticism, but that's the point right there, it is mine and my reality only exists of what I believe and want to be true. So then is my work an inevitable invitation towards the preferred direction of my future, rather than the previously chosen major of my college carrier? That's really where this little essay is going. It's high on my mind, and it was bound to come out somehow. It's funny that it came out like this. But doesn't the saying go, the truth always comes out somehow?

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