winter work

winter work

It’s cold out and the fire is warm, the coffee dark and strong. I’m thinking about the past year, how it was filled with strange medical adventures, a few wonderful road trips (Waterton Lakes before the fire with its hills covered in arrow-leaved balsamroot, bluebirds on the fence-posts, bighorn sheep watching us eat breakfast at the Prince of Wales Hotel), time with friends and family. Oh, and a book, Euclid’s Orchard. I suspect I may have posted this passage before but I’m doing this exact thing today and everything that has ever happened seems to happen again. Or at least that’s what I want to believe.

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

2 thoughts on “winter work”

  1. I noticed your comment at Okanagan – Harold Renisch’s site and clicked through, and very much like what I found, so a follow. If you happen to visit my site, scrolling back though recent posts will probably give you a better idea than the current one of what I’m up to. There is a nourishing, peaceful sense of place here on your blog.

    1. Beautiful images. I love the ones that my Czech friends might call “Industrial Sublime” — the shapes that are actually so interesting when we find them in urban landscapes. And the glasshouse ones — ravishing.

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