Needle art with books from June and July
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
A year and half after lockdown started I met my niece again. To receive her gift of needle art. Give me a list of your favourite things, and I will embroider them into your name ...
|Diana in needle art|
The Folded Earth
India in the foothills of the Himalayas. A young widow making a new life. Teaching a village girl to read and write her love letters. Faded glory versus today's politics.
My garden was just an unkempt patch of hillside, but it rippled with wildflowers on this blue and gold morning.
|The letter D|
Mr Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore
A little fun, a little fantasy. Written in 2012, but this resonates in today's lockdown.
I was unemployed, a result of the great food-chain contraction that swept through America in the early twenty-first century, leaving bankrupt burger chains and shuttered sushi empires in its wake.
San Francisco is a good place for walks if your legs are strong. The city is a tiny square punctuated by steep hills and bounded on three sides by water, and as a result, there are surprise vistas everywhere.
|The letter I|
Joyce Carol OATES
Hazards of Time Travel
From the future in the year 23, exiled back to 1959. As I tap on my keyboard, and she writes about learning to use an actual typewriter - I wonder, how many people remember typing? Without the visuals, what, is that instrument?
The girl peered at the back of the typewriter, as if searching for something missing.
But - there's nothing connecting it to - to...
|The first A|
Andrew Michael HURLEY
Teacher and his town wife called home when his grandfather dies. To run the family farm with his father. Sheep summering on the moors.
~ (walking with his son who)
feels his grandfathers at his back and imagines his sons walking before him
~ (grandfather drawing an annual map)
reset the boundaries of our land. The whole of the valley was drawn out, from the two beech trees to the old wall on the moors where our pastures ended.
|The letter N|
His fifth wife is moving on. Nobel Laureate going to Spitsbergen with artists concerned with climate change.
He got into the suit - it must have weighed twenty pounds - put on the dusty balaclava, squeezed his head into the helmet, put on the inner and outer gloves, then realised that he would not be able to put on the goggles while wearing the gloves, took off the gloves, clamped on the goggles, put on the inner and outer gloves, then remembered ...
|Second letter A|
The A-Z of You and Me
I have been engrossed in reading this one again, but you need a dose of courage up front.
Maybe the older patients are content to keep themselves occupied with parlour games [that A-Z] But I don't want any of it. I'm forty. My mind's too active. I need it deadening.
|Margaret Atwood - The testaments - cover and endpaper art|
Dysfunctional society. Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale. Gilead where women are Handmaids, Pearl Girls, Aunts or Econowives. I was fascinated by that cover and endpapers. Two simple shapes in green and white. Artist is Noma Bar
Wait, I counsel them silently; it will get worse.
|Sharing an umbrella|
A dictionary of mutual understanding
The last on my lockdown heap, with a cheerful cover. Chick lit, romcom? Not. Nagasaki, atom bomb, comfort women, war crimes.
In feudal times, men and women could only link arms or hold hands on a rainy day under an umbrella. If a man offered an umbrella to a woman it was interpreted as an implicit expression of his love for her. Back to that cover.
Our lockdown has lifted another layer. But Western Cape numbers climbed and are coming down slowly, due to taxi wars and working people who depend on public transport.
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