I had this deep post all planned about saints, and grief, and crying at Mass last night because they sang the same responsorial hymn that we had at my brother’s funeral (the one with the line about “the God of Jacob”), and stuff like that there, but then this morning I got completely distracted by a blog post about sewing pretty darn cute house slippers, which I’ve been thinking about making since the floors in our house get really cold (more about that later), which then led to another sewing blog, and then another which had some of the awesomest Star Wars geek projects I’ve ever seen. And the thing is, I have one of those sheets, left from one set my parents had when I was a child, which somehow got claimed by Jacob, and I inherited it. Only it’s the fitted sheet, and worn almost completely through in the center from all the small children who slept on it over the years. I’ll be lucky to salvage enough fabric for a throw pillow. I had also been quite impressed with the bloggers skillful use of trims & embellishments, and then I saw this dress, the i carry your heart dress, embellished discreetly and awesomely with the e.e. cummings poem. And my mind went whoa!, and immediately a vision of a skirt or maybe dress sprang into my head.
You see, lately I’ve been thinking a lot of Christina Rosetti’s poem In The Bleak Midwinter, both the original, and as set to music by Gustav Holst. This was inspired by our recent furnace difficulties. To be honest, I hadn’t noticed for quite a while that our furnace wasn’t working. We keep the house pretty cold anyway, in the interest of saving money, so I’m used to reaching for a sweater or wool socks when things get chilly instead of turning up the thermostat. However, with temperatures dipping pretty low the last few days, having a house temperature hovering around 50ºF was not ok. We suspected that the pilot light had gone out again, so Tuesday night Rosie and I headed down to the basement to see what we could fix. We lit the pilot light ok (courtesy of a homemade contraption of matches rubber banded to a curtain rod), but then the furnace itself wouldn’t come on. We double checked that all the valves etc. were as they should be, and still nothing.
It was pretty cold, and I started singing In The Bleak Midwinter, mostly because I thought it was hilariously appropriate. Except I couldn’t remember the second verse, which bugged me enough that later I looked it up, remembered how much I really love that poem, and made me start thinking of ways that maybe I could use it in a way that would help me not forget again. At first I thought I might embroider the words on one panel of a skirt, but then that raised the specter of people peering intently at my stomach trying to read what was written there. And if I’m going to have people staring at one part of my anatomy, my stomach definitely isn’t it! But now I think I might go with one of my full 1950s skirts in a nice, warm wool, with maybe just the first verse around the hem. I’ve got some dark gray wool that would look very elegant with black embroidery. Except using my handy dandy sharpie would take ever so much less time, and exponentially raise my chances of actually wearing this skirt while it’s still actually cold enough to do be useful. Hmmmm….
And now I just want to go home and sew.
Oh, and I should add that the house is warm now. Our landlord came and fixed that, along with the always running toilet, and the sink that was backing up. He also put new batteries in all the smoke detectors. It was pretty sweet.