Sunday, August 31, 2008

Old Clothes

A quilt made by my great grandmother lay on my bed all through childhood and in fact well into adulthood and marriage. On the floor, to keep my bare feet from touching cold floorboards each morning, lay a spiral rug also made by my great grandmother. It consisted of braids twisted from discarded clothes, sewn into a spiral. Her quilts were also made from discarded clothes.

If physical material is infused with the spirits of the people who use them, then those old clothes would have been redolent with family. To live surrounded by such items, made useful again by craft, concentration, and concern; to sleep under the touch and to have one’s warmth conserved on frigid nights by such items; to be encompassed in one’s life by passed-on touch transformed by love was surely a blessing beyond words.

We rarely dwell in such embrace now. Our family’s touch has gone from constant and sure to brief and tentative. Old clothes now are discarded, not made into something useful again in daily ways. Our touch has become impractical and fleeting. I used to have mittens and scarves made by loving relatives and once even a nose warmer made by a caring teacher. I would sled and play in the snow for hours and never feel cold. Now?

Now I am cold even in store-bought Scottish wool. To bring back the reuse of old clothes and pass along a family’s touch, and warmth, would heal wounds I’ve sustained over the years since I last slept under one of my great grandmother’s quilts or stood to face each day on one of her spiral rugs.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Know Your Rights by the Clash

This is a public service announcement
With guitar
Know your rights all three of them

Number 1
You have the right not to be killed
Murder is a crime!
Unless it was done by a
Policeman or aristocrat
Know your rights

And number 2
You have the right to food money
Providing of course you
Dont mind a little
Investigation, humiliation
And if you cross your fingers

Know your rights
These are your rights

Know these rights

Number 3
You have the right to free
Speech as long as youre not
Dumb enough to actually try it.

Know your rights
These are your rights
All three of em
It has been suggested
In some quarters that this is not enough!

Get off the streets
Get off the streets
You dont have a home to go to

Finally then I will read you your rights

You have the right to remain silent
You are warned that anything you say
Can and will be taken down
And used as evidence against you

Listen to this