Strength in a fragile fabric.
A balance of open and closed.
All of these things (and probably so much more) make up what lace is all about. A fragile, beautiful, fabric that has a tensile strength. I have some lace that my grandmother gave me years and years ago, that someone in the family made many many years before, and also some that she had made. She called it tatting, and the word still makes me smile. And just what does all this talk of lace have to do with anything you might be thinking?
Well, we have quite a few boxes in the garage that remain unpacked almost 9 months after we moved in, and this weekend I spent some time opening a couple of them; under the premise that if we haven't missed or needed anything in those boxes, we should probably toss the stuff or give it away.
I made it as far as the second box I opened. I found the lace and just below the ziploc bags of lace, I found packages of letters that my grandfather had written to me over the years after I had moved away from New England. The letters spanned the years of my adventuresome 20-something travels and living overseas and my 30 something years of settling in the bay area. He talked about his life in New Hampshire with his dog, and sent me cartoons clipped from The New Yorker and The Wall Street Journal, told stories on my mum and uncle, siblings and cousins, and mused about what was happening in my life, what was happening in the world - politically and otherwise - and commenting on the stories I was sending to him.
I spent about 3 hours sitting on the cold concrete floor in the garage, reading through letters and running my fingers over the lace. I never opened another box. Old lace and letters. Not something that I might need, and clearly not things that I have missed or thought about over the last 9 months, but isn't that kind of how the threads of a life weave together and complete themselves? We are aware of what is being built and yet living the moments as they come, we miss so much of what is being created until we have that moment to step back and, yes, look back and see all the connections and threads that weave through our lives. All the beauty, the fragility and the strength.
Visit Flickr artists who created the work above at these links:1. Lace of Dew, 2. Lace and Legs, 3. Lace detail, 4. Lace Fluffy Ruffle Gloves, 5. White Crocheted Lace Choker, 6. lace and tassels, 7. lace leaves, 8. lace snow, 9. Lace Trim, 10.vintage lace, 11. Lace Tree, 12. "Amulet on Lace Doily" Acrylic Painting, 13.flickr.com/photos/98048196@N00/2521316048/, 14. antique white taffeta and lace reconstructed skirt, 15. lace by the yard, 16. Lace & Light