“a sequence emptied of its numbers…”

morning, looking west

The fire’s made, the beautiful morning moon observed as it heads to the western horizon, and I’ve decided it’s a day to work on a quilt, to put the layers together with long temporary stitches and to figure out a way to quilt them so that the resulting cover is durable. I’m going to use some of last weekend’s indigo-dyed linen and either yellow cotton or deep red flannel for the backing. I bought some soft organic cotton batting for the warm middle layer.

Inside I am stitching a spiral into the layers of the orchard I have pieced together, a snail shell curled into itself. That’s what I’ll see when I’ve finished. I begin the spiral at its very heart, keeping my course as even as I can as it opens out and widens. Not the complicated pathways of the sunflower, some turning left, some right, so that an optimal number of seeds are packed in uniformly, or Romanesco broccoli, its arcs within radii resulting in something so intricately beautiful I wonder how anyone could cut into it to eat it.On windowsills,pinecones. The plump Ponderosas, brought home from the Nicola Valley, and a few long Monticolas. They’re dry, open, but at the base, where their stalk connected them to their trees, two spirals are still visible, like a relaxed embrace, lovers asleep. My spirals are simple, my hands sewing to follow a path from its knotted source, around and around, until I’ve learned that my pleasure comes from the journey itself,a needle leading me outward,towards completion. A quilt elegant and sturdy, a sequence emptied of its numbers.

—from Euclid’s Orchard (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2017)

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