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The World here is very quiet.

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It is true silence is golden. But that will not help my wanting to count 50,000 words. Still I guess I’ve slowed down. It never has taken a very big push to knock me off balance. Very easy, simplest thing in the world in fact.

My favorite work of Picasso’s was always the woman ironing from his blue period. Only seen it in reproduction but it touched me deeply. Possibly the subject matter as well, those endless domestic chores that wear  women’s self away to nothingness, the toil of their existence, the unending ness of it, the repetition of it, the futility of it.

Ironing was one of those chores I refused to do except for very special social occasions – the queen, that was an experience not easily forgotten. When Chris became a Canadian, wonderful moving ceremony, over forty different countries represented. All so proud of themselves and their new country. How we should all feel about citizenship. The wedding, which was very lovely, even to Chris crying at the altar.  Meeting the governor general and the American ambassador. Too tough that was, I never get the social etiquette right. We are both clueless about these things.

I can remember mom keeping dad’s white shirts damp in the refrigerator wrapped tightly in plastic to be ironed. Then she had to starch the collars.

The collars. She spent a lot of time on that board pushing that iron around.  At least by then it was an electric iron and not one heated by coal or wood. All those Victorian flounces with flat irons – the rich sure have no idea about  the sheer labour involved in things.

Does it still matter? Perhaps not. There will always be big parts of life missing from memory. What did I do last week for instance? You just live, really. The motion of it, the chores of it, the enjoyment of it, the flow, even the rhythm of it. The past is past, a faraway country – you cannot live there. To visit too often in imagination, memory, is to rob yourself of the present moment which is all we have of life.

 

Lila Knitting

Lila Knitting

About geri binks

Artist

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