Thursday, October 19, 2006

putting the blank into blanket
Was the subject line to an e-mail I wrote to American K1 (there are now two American Ks – it’s a long story – who knows, one day it may feature here). It seemed too good, too apt, a subject line to restrict to just one person.
We have a blanket that TA’s mother made for us when we got married. It is made out of bronze and grey wool crocheted in the style – in my family at least – known as a Granny blanket. It is on our bed at the moment to make up for the fact that the nights are chill but we have yet to bring out the winter-weight doona.
My Granny used to crochet blankets with recycled wool, one stripe after another in shell stitch. Crocheting together when I was small, she once asked me if I couldn’t crochet like she did because I was “cack handed”.
“No, Granny, you use a different stitch to the ones I’ve been taught. I can crochet double and treble stitch, but I’ve not learnt shell stitch yet.”
I can do many things even though I am, indeed, cack handed. But I can’t make decisions for TA – that’s part of how we got here in the first place. I can’t protect myself from the storms without scuttling the boat and turning my back on the sea – something I cannot bring myself to do. And so I hold on to the rigging – bailing where necessary, trying not to throw up – and feel…very little. The panic passed a long time ago; the dread, well, I trust myself enough to think that whatever life throws at me, I’ll survive in my own cack-handed way. So I feel blank as I watch the storm front close in and wait for the lightening to strike the mast.
And a secret corner of my consciousness begins to prepare the lifeboat – much like as six-year-old E and I hid running-away supplies under her bed. You can’t get very far with old cheese and Christmas mincemeat (especially if the jars have leaked) and I wonder how far I will get with my meagre emergency supplies.
If you see me paddling on the high seas please send up a flare and send out an SOS for me. Hell, if you see TA clinging to a broken plank, please pull him on to your deck and administer a reviving dose of brandy.
Please: stop me if I'm boring you.

1 comment:

Carroll said...

Boring? Not hardly. Lacking access to "the Archers" on this side of the pond, you're all the drama I've got right now. Bring it on!

(Not meaning to be crass, of course -- merely my meager attempt to inject a little levity into your life :)