16 November 2010
g r a n g r a n g r a n
Meticulously I'm drawing spruces (graaan), not only for the fun of it (wild uncontrolled meticulousness mon amour) but for (yet another) application for funding. Gran gran gran, a tree that's big in my imagination, big and morose, wild and sinister.
I was flicking through Rob Sheffield's Love is a mix-tape yesterday and decided to share a snippet (two child snippets of one mother snippet) that's stayed with me. It's a book that seems to divide its readers into those that take to it and those who find it shallow and ironic. Don't guess where I stand, just know.
I love the idea of time being - temporarily, of course temporarily - embodied into flesh:
"Renée got seriously into sewing that year. She basically stopped wearing any clothes she didn't make for herself, except for her Clarins work uniform. None of her store-bought clothes looked good on her. She was getting bigger and wider - broader hips, fleshier thighs - and she couldn't find any clothes in stores that would come close to fitting her. She used to cry when she had to buy ugly clothes from stores like Fashion Beetle or Aunt Pretty Poodle's, which were her only choices in Charlottesville. So she just started making her own. Her sewing machine corner of the living room filled up with piles and piles of fabric and patterns. She made a dress form of her body so she could design patterns that would fit her. She would go to the fabric store, sort through the boxes of patterns, and buy them so she could copy them into something that would fit her. She basically had one mod minidress that she made over and over. She couldn't do zippers yet, but that summer she finally learned to do buttons and buttonholes, so she started making all her own foxy shirts. She sewed bike shorts to wear under her dresses so her thighs wouldn't chafe when they rubbed together. And she would come home with the strangest, sorriest fabric: pea pods, seashells, Queen Elizabeth smiling, anything. The more pathetic and helpless the fabric looked on the rack, the more it would sucker her into trying to make it into a mod minidress."
And here we get to it:
"Renée's sewing was a way for her to follow the changes in her body. She felt her hips growing more and more Appalachian, marking her as one of her people. She was starting to look like pictures of her late, beloved Mamaw back in West Virginia; sometimes this would make her uncles misty-eyed. Uncle Troy once gave her a hug and almost cried because the hug reminded him of Mamaw's body. Goldie Hughart Crist died when Renée was sixteen, but Renée felt like she was getting to know her grandmother better than ever now. There was a lot of history in the hips, and Renée was learning her history. With that sewing machine, she was making history of her own."