Friday, December 03, 2021

Change for Good

Why can't our tasty blueberries grow as easily, as abundantly, as these blue berries, which are not tasty? I love these foggy mornings, when the dew is bejeweling the spider webs, and the berries have a reflective sheen. Blue and green, and sparkling droplets of marine layer come to rest on every surface. I love when nature is a wordless poem.
It's been a long time since I made this little wallet, from scrap wool, with a needle felted owl on a branch, and some blanket stitching, a bit of crochet. It's the perfect size for a handful of necessary cards, like my driver's license, library card, others. I've used it everyday, everywhere. Slowly, the tree rubbed away, then the owl became a ghost, hardly any hint of its former self. Even the button has a faded, worn away surface. Someday I can repair it was a soft resolve, unspoken, barely a committment. And then, sitting in Beach Chair Book Club, (They're reading Howl's Moving Castle) with not much to do, I saw my wallet, and felt resolved. I picked away at the threads holding the two felt scraps together. The crocehted loop had broke loose all on its own, like the blanket stitching. It's practically a complete make-over, which I thought would be too daunting, until now. Something gentle and calm overcame me, and the prospect of making this over felt welcome, manageable. What a nice sensation.
I didn't intend to share the updated wallet, the process of remaking it, until it was complete. But just now I need a distraction, something welcome and manageable, gentle and calming. You see, the recent latest gun murder spree at a school, has inspired threats of violence so credible that two area high schools are closed today. And even though Maria's school had an active shooter drill very recently, today they are going over procedures and guidelines, again. I can't read "active shooter drill" as even remotely a matter of fact statement, but it is matter of fact, today in America. Maria will be sitting in a class right now, being reminded about laying on the ground, away from windows, about fighting back if she feels this is appropriate. Seems like miliarty training, or war zone mentality. Some of us debated whether we should send our children in today. The closed school is only a few miles away. These are neighborhood schools, where our friends and neighbors go. Yet, how is this day really any different from yesterday, from Monday, or from 22 years ago? We have surrendered our lives, our freedom and peace of mind to the gutless wonders in Washington, to the idea that we have no choice but to cater to gun enthusiasts, to gun lobbies, and all of the people profting off of fear, ignorance, and the manufacture and sale of firearms. This level of threat and distress is matter of fact in America, where violence and racism, neglect of human dignity and needs, are not only prevalent, but legislated, protected, upheld, culturally ingrained. Are we helpless to change this?

I chose to applique an owl this time, instead of needle felting a little bird. Next I'll add branches, leaves, with both applique and embroidery. Then I will sew the pieces back together, add blanket stitching, and test my memory about how I made the crocheted loop that closes over the button. I'll keep the faded button.

I enjoyed making a new owl, while the Club chatted, crafted with resin, and played the Vince Guaraldi album. There wasn't actually a whole lot of talk about Howl's Moving Castle, maybe a bit about hat making. No matter. These young folk were happy to stay two hours after school, talking and making buttons, sharing thoughts on Christmas music, and anime. We could hear the band playing... a concert, or a rehearsal. No doubt the robotics club was busy, too, peer mentoring in the metal shop, learning to program, writing grants, screenprinting, hanging out. I love these young people. I love how much they want to do in lives, their intelligence, their creativity, and inate curiosity. I want them to have clean air, and healthcare, space and resources to explore their interests, to be heard. I want them to have access to safe, kind, constructive opportunities. I want them to see, to really know, that we value them, as they are, above anything else.


CJ said...

Dreadful about the high school shooting, and horrific that children have to be taught what to do in situations like that now. Very sad indeed. Love the job you have made with the owl, I shall look forward to seeing it when it's all finished.

Denise said...

I'm Australian, and our schools have bushfire drills.
Our friends in New Zealand have earthquake drills.
It is beyond our comprehension: and I do mean that literally: that schools need to have active shooter drill. Something is very, very wrong in your society and I don't know how I would cope if I were a parent with a child in one of your schools. My anxiety levels would be so high. We think of schools as safe spaces for children and that is what they should be!
I send you, and all parents, all my best wishes.

Little Dorrit does... said...

Love the wallet renewal job so far. A soothing, meditative task to help you through such an anxiety-provoking time.

The thought of your beautiful girl having to role-play "active shooter" scenarios at school makes my blood run cold. It amazes me that anyone could argue that this is a reasonable solution to the problem, yet clearly a lot of very powerful, very stupid people still do.

Hopefully the young folk will see a change for the better in their lifetimes. Hugs to you.

Nicole MacPherson said...

I honestly am so sad that school shootings are so commonplace that I did not even know about the recent one you reference. It's just the saddest thing and I cannot believe that it's just "part of life." Schools should be safe places in every way, and the fact that they are not is a travesty.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Thank you, CJ. I was surprised how far along I got with the owl. I admit, I was not eager to start this, because it felt less creative, and more like work, since I was doing things over again. But, now I am happy about taking care of it, and it is a very favorite wallet. I will be happy to have it back in service.
The gun crisis is dreadful... and people's attitudes, and infatuation with guns, makes it a tragedy that will not be resolved for generations, which is even more dreadful. It's shameful.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Denise, fires and earthquakes... we have to be prepared for those, too. And you are correct: Teaching children to defend themselves, to shelter, hide, fight, crawl away from guns is incomprehensible, when we will not elect to take measures against the people carrying, and manufacturing these weapons, when we dare not disappoint gun lobbyists nor offend gun lovers. We need your best wishes, because I know these things will not improve without a complete shift in culture and values.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Thank you, Amelia. Wool makes a soothing material to work with, and I like the meditation of crafting.
Parents were sent copies of the same video they showed the students... on active shooters, and on reporting suspicious behavior. I cried through the whole thing, because what our country has embraced, and accepted is a betrayal of freedom, of peace, and the will of the majority... we are being held captive by a fringe group that is obsessed with an idea of "power." I have no confidence that legislation is going to change these ideas and beliefs held by such a violent and addled population. The real change will have to be in people's understanding of how we can be a better, healthier, kinder society... we need laws to manage gun sales and manufacturing, and we need a societal growth, a cultural awakening. Sadly, until something dramatically shifts, I have to hope that whatever she learns can keep her, and all of us, safer, but this is a heartbreaking admission, and it makes me want to walk away from this crumbling society.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

It really is devastating that these events are like blips, so common they begin to lose the weight they should bear on our hearts, and minds. It's become so tragic, that we cannot register it, we have to guard our hearts, put it out of our minds, otherwise it's more than can be borne. You are right, Nicole, it is a travesty.

Janece said...