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Optimum Green-Specificity

This post is one of my guest blogs on To Be Shouted.  Click the link to visit the archives:

Recently I found myself hunting through a shelf of shimmering spools of thread of all colors. I picked up a bluish one, held it up to my dress, put it back. I picked up a greenish one, held it up to my dress, put it back. I snapped a loose thread from the fabric and held it up to a spool, trying to decide if there was enough green or too much.

There is a dress in my collection I shall call the Wrinkle Dress. It is a sort of blue-green-in-between color. It is called the Wrinkle Dress because it is deliberately rumpled, with small folds of fabric pulled out from the cloth and sewn into wrinkles that give it a rich textured effect.

Over time most of these little seams gave up the ghost under the strain of my boisterous movements, leaving the WD looking flat and tired instead of charmingly quirky. (They often made a lively popping sound as they did so.) Hence my trip to find just the right shade and weight of thread with which to make repairs.

I found a shade that was nearly a perfect match and headed home to put needle to cloth. I reflected briefly on the absurdity of sewing wrinkles into a dress while I measured out the first length of thread, drawing it in a span from my fingertips to the middle of my chest, poking it through the needle’s eye, finding the midpoint, making a knot. Then the slow, careful work of sewing. I always find this task meditative and satisfying as the cloth runs through my fingers, as I measure my success in stitches.

This sense of progress resonated with me also as I watched the trees out our back windows start to unfurl their leaves. One in particular started to push forth its leaves from the tips, which looked like green blossoms at first before tendrils of green further down the branches began to open out too. The days grew warmer, the leaves extended into the light. Patches of leafy shade began to appear.

Soon it will be summer. There will be dappled patches of green shade moving like seaweed as lazy breezes shift verdant branches. I can lie under them, looking up at the sky and pretending I am under the ocean. Will I pretend I am a mermaid in the Wrinkle Dress? Well, maybe.

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