Knits and Pearls

April 26, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Posted in Family, Giggles, Lollipop, Me | 21 Comments
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This sweater is old.
It’s an odd mottle of colors, like the dollops of paint my son swirls around and around.
It’s Kraft-cheese stripes are an accidental hybrid of funk and tang.
It’s exactly as frayed as it ought to be.

This sweater has been places.
I bought it, cheap, on the beach in France. Hundreds of flip-flopped tourists.
I was the cold one.
When I slip my arms through, I hear the wailing wind as it leaps from the Cliffs of Moher.
The whispers in the Sistine Chapel.
The sizzle of frying calamari at that tapas bar in Madrid.

This sweater reminds me.
My mom. Rocking, rocking. The worn springs strumming a lullaby — woom, woom, woom.
My forehead burrowed in the brown-sugar knits and purls of the sweater she wore, always.
The one that smells like her. Like buttercups and post-its and cherry tomatoes and safety.
It’s exactly as frayed as it ought to be.

This sweater will remind them.
I hold them. I listen to their tales: timeouts, worksheets, noodle soup, ladybugs.
I drink them in. Their longness and leanness. The freckle on her shoulder. His eyelashes.
My God, his eyelashes.
Their synapses churn out data, imprinting this, all of this, onto the endless RAM of childhood.
They will remember.
I hope they will remember.

This sweater is old.
This sweater has been places.
This sweater is time, memory, instinct, life.
It’s exactly as frayed as it ought to be.

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Today’s Five for Five topic is age. Join in at Momalom.

21 Comments »

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  1. What a gorgeous evocation of all the memories a single thing can hold. Thank you. xox

  2. Perfection. The sweater has a life of its own it seems. There ARE articles of clothing that I relate to my childhood, my budding teenage years, my angsty twenties. These clothes- they matter. These memories that you shared are sweet. Your words- clear.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Alita

    • My husband hates this sweater. He thinks it’s ugly. And it is. It totally is! But maybe, now, he’ll see it in a new light. =>

  3. Do you write like this all the time? Inspiring and gorgeous. I love the idea that things other than us hold memories- which is why I hate throwing things away that have memories to me. Which drives my clutter-free husband crazy. And I like the sweater!

  4. I love the image of you giving them the same soft, solid comfort that your mama gave you. That’s motherhood, through the ages.

  5. I’m with Alita – your sweater has a life of its own! I love the nostalgic notes in this post. I’m not sure I have an article of clothing full of “memories of time and love” like this one…

  6. Sometimes I feel bad, wearing favorite clothes to the point of fraying–but there is a beauty there that you’ve captured: the loved, the familiar, that draws me.

  7. I love that you guys have a “legacy” piece of something that touches your family in so many different ways. Not to sound pathetic but I wish we did too.

  8. This is beautiful Stacia. I love your mom’s smells. Safety. Yes.

  9. Love how you weaved a lifetime of memories with this sweater. Stacia, I hope they remember too.

  10. I love this. I’m frayed, too. Just as I should be.

    I write in my ugliest sweater. It’s like wearing a gray wig. Empowering.

  11. Using a sweater and all it’s lived through to guide us through these experiences. What a wonderful mechanism, Stacia. And such an evocative and tangible poem.

    Beautiful.

  12. Just lovely. It’s amazing how much history and LIFE can be found in some of the everyday things in our lives. What a beautiful way to have used this theme.

  13. This is great writing.

  14. I am in awe of the beauty of your writing. I want that sweater. I can smell it, feel it. Your children will cherish it in the same way you have. Lovely.

  15. A piece of clothing can bring up powerful memories. Beautifully written!

  16. God you blow me away with your writing every single time. The imagery, the feeling you evoke is all so tangible.

    I have many articles of clothing that do the same for me – but that’s my “thing”. Whenever I visit someplace I get a t-shirt or something so that I can be reminded of the time spent there – good times, traveling times. I have a favorite fleece. It’s the color of pea soup – ugly as can be – but damn, I’m going to be so bummed when that thing wears out.

  17. This beautiful post makes my worn-out jeans feel more full of purpose than I ever would have considered. Well done!

  18. Oh my goodnes.. a post about a sweater that made me cry!!! I don’t think I have anything like this… *sniff*

    Loved it.🙂

  19. Beautiful! This is such a lovely, nostalgic post and truly well written. Thank you for sharing!

  20. “An accidental hybrid of funk and tang.”

    Awesome.

    (And also? A beautiful poem.)


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