Heh, heh, heh…


  Not long ago (well I guess you can see when), I was seated at a table with a bunch of crusty old (and not so old) farts discussing an important community development project.  A lot of money was involved and so were therefore complexities, hidden agendas, and outright misguided prejudices.

  Sometimes during such meetings I work on needlepoint or origami as sorts of insurance policies.  They ensure that the time spent is not a total waste.  To be fair though – the measure is usually not necessary and often my own contribution amounts to little more than a stupid joke.

  Both needlepoint and origami bear certain similarities with an arcane subset of mountaineering called ‘bouldering’ which consists of short routes of extreme difficulty.  All demand intensely personal – essentially solitary – commitment and creativity to engender any hope of real success. 

  They also help sharpen ontological acuity.  Paradoxically, acts of concentration such as these awaken a broad and deep sense of awareness.  I actually did most of the bit you see above while visiting my brother for a week some months before he died of cancer.  I remember every stitch I made, breath he took, and drip from the roof during that uncharacteristically wet Marin February.   

  Anyway, during the above referenced meeting I could tell by their furtive glances that several of my colleagues were discomfited by my silent activity. 

  Several times Mr. Curmudgeon fired a question at me to check for my attention.  Reminded me of grade school when I was the best day dreamer in class and loved to look out the window while we were taking turns reading aloud.

  The teacher would break order and call on me because she figured my mind was elsewhere.  She was right of course, but alas for her wrong too.  I’d pick right up where the last had left off without losing a beat.  Heh, heh, heh. 

  I nailed Mr. C’s questions, but nonetheless later was asked, anonymously, to leave my “stitchery” at home or the office or wherever.  In the end, the series of meetings wound up with nothing solved and no real purpose served, but the above project found its first incarnation as the cover of a graduation present/address book.

  Heh, heh, heh. 

* Above L-R: Sun over surf; an Iowa farm; and mountains.

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