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crafting with the hands
Tuesday, February 06, 2007

She's learning about hands - their intelligence and ingenuity. Their clumsiness and lack of skill. Their life. The new world of craft - manipulating needles of various kinds, spreading fabric, smoothing, cutting, selecting, teasing, pressing, rolling, squeezing. Joining things together. Intense pleasure of texture under the hand, of colours seducing the eye. Intense satisfaction in a completed garment or accessory however humble and clumsily made. The sense of your own work.
The connection to writing - using a set of experiences and a toolkit of words to assemble something that anybody might want to try on. It might not fit - or you might see that it would fit with a little alteration. Or you might think - no way I'd ever wear that. Or that girl hasn't a clue how to knit.
When I was a child, sewing was so fraught. In every fairy story, things went wrong, fingers were pricked, spells were cast. In the classroom, wicked old witches laid their gnarled hands on your work and derided it. I knitted a dishcloth, not understanding the concept. I made a pair of baby doll pyjamas - but my mother had chosen wincyette - wince being what I did as the lovely Miss Whittaker held up the fabric and made the whole class laugh at me. Ha but now, yes, now Miss Whittaker - who's laughing? At least you taught me that I would never iron as it seemed to be the most pleasurable thing in your life.
Something went wrong. The false dichotomy between the hands and the brain. As if you ever use one without the other.
8:54 AM   1 comments