Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Threads and prayers

I came across this passage in my reading a while ago, and remembered that I wanted to share it (I inserted paragraph breaks for readability):

"They had whispered among them, las mujeres de la familia, about grandmother and how much of a nervous viejita she was...The only thing which calmed her nerves was to sit by the lantern and crochet.

When Petra's father was sick, tomorrow came and went and came and went until her father died and tomorrow still came and went and grandmother had crocheted perfect little diamonds through it all. What thoughts had gone through her grandmother's mind as she crocheted, what threads looped and knotted and disguised themselves as prayers?

And what had Petra learned from the trembling fingers which pulled a fine thread into the hook of the crocheting needle with such patience that the stitching was as intricate and as weather resistant as a spider's web? If only Petra was capable of crocheting, if only she could feel the threads slip in and out of her fingers like her grandmother once did, she wouldn't feel as if her own prayers turned into soot above her"(165-166).

This is from Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena Maria Viramontes, copyright 1995. Isn't it beautiful? I did an intricate cross-stitch once for Christmas, for my mom, and I worked on it during the final year or two of my marriage. It was a wreath, with different birds--a cardinal, bluebirds, sparrows. Every time I look at it hanging in my parents' living room, I think about what each stitch represents, and how it kept me sane.


At 3:43 AM, Blogger Laura said...

That is really beautiful. I know that knitting is what keeps me from turning into a really crazy, hateful person! :)

And so, so sorry about the fact that you could identify so personally with the First Date with Jason Schwartzmann. Did your dates really hit you up for money? That is rough, chica. :)

At 5:18 PM, Blogger candsmom said...

Hi! I'm new to your blog- Laura sent me and I'm so glad she did. :-) That passage is beautiful. I think the soothing meditative quality and therapeutic value of knitting can't be overstated. It seems our hopes, dreams and prayers are intertwined with each stitch. Knitting is my lifeline to sanity, too.

BTW, your flowerbasket shawl is just gorgeous! You're so pretty, too! It looks beautiful on you.


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