I had a troubling dream which woke me early this morning and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I dreamed I was working on a very large quilt, and I had promised to hand quilt it. I remember seeing it was not made as a usual quilt is made, with a top and a bottom, and a layer of batting (wadding) in between, but of 12 – 13 layers of cotton cloth, a very difficult quilting challenge, and it seems to me that the quilt was like 15 feet by 15 feet, a huge quilt, a size I have never even seen done. I remember having accepted to quilt a very complicated pattern, and as I awoke, I was stitching and stitching and stitching, hand stitch after hand stitch, but feeling utterly defeated and overwhelmed at the task I was facing.
I am confounded. In terms of quilting, I will never be caught up, but it doesn’t bother me, I just keep on. I finish most quilts; I do just fine. I don’t have any project deadlines, I don’t have any feeling of urgency on completing any of my quilts. I very rarely do any hand quilting; machine quilting gets the job done and hand quilting is hard on my hands and fingers.
My life, too, in this so-called retirement, is orderly. I take on what I can take on and complete the task. I don’t feel like I am behind in anything. I keep up with things. I feel no urgency.
So where did this dream come from?
I believe God calls to us in many ways (“Let he who has ears listen!”), through his word, through the voices and actions of Godly people, through a book one might be reading, through a friend, or a homeless person, or even through a dream. Being who I am, I prefer a clear message; interpretation is so fraught with personal prejudices, so filtered by what we know, by our particular dogma or belief system. I am praying now for clarity, and for the meaning of this dream to be made understandable so that I might know what I am needed to do . . . If I am meant to keep chipping away at something, please, let me do it with a joyful attitude, not this feeling of being faced with an overwhelming task.
And as I go through the categories,getting ready to post this entry, choosing those words that best apply, I see “Moving” and I have to laugh; moving is that huge quilt, that elephant that one can only eat one bite at a time, that many layered monstrosity, and it has been three years since I have moved. Three years living in one country, one city, in one house. It may be that the dream is one of those anxiety dreams like your college exam dreams, a dream that is no longer relevant but a hangover from another time, another life. My subconscious is getting ready for a move, feeling overdue, LOL.
We’ve never seen this happen in Pensacola before. We went to see the afternoon showing of Lincoln at the Bayou Rav Theaters and it was totally sold out. People! This is the weekend before Thanksgiving! Aren’t you supposed to be grocery shopping and baking and polishing silver for Thanksgiving? This isn’t James Bond, this is a historical movie! What are you thinking??
The Paris Wife
“This isn’t going to end well” you tell yourself when you start reading
this book, and you tell yourself not to read any further but you can’t
stop. This is a very good girl who meets a bad boy – what is it about
bad boys, anyway? You know you should go for the serious guy, the one
who will always have a good job, be a good provider for the family, a
good father to your children. You know all this, and you choose the bad
boy anyway. Why?
Hadley Richardson is a good girl at one of those transitional times in
history; world war I had ended, the damaged young men, including Ernest
Hemingway, are back from war, it is the 1920′s and the world is turned
upside down. When they meet, the chemistry is hot and strong. Their
friends warn Hadley against marrying “Hem” but when the attraction is
so hot and high, who can listen?
You know from the beginning that she is just the first wife, so most of
the book is full of dread, waiting to find out just how awful it is all
going to be. The early years, living in Paris, being dirt poor while
Hemingway gets started with his writing, are good years. They meet lots
of interesting expats living in Paris, they drink a lot, they are off
to Spain for the bullfights, and to Austria for the skiing, on the move
a lot, even once the baby comes.
It’s a fascinating book, a snapshot of the roaring 1920′s, of the
transitional era when women started becoming less submissive and more
free, and of a relationship between a nice girl and a talented but
damaged and self-destructive man. You’ll hate having to put it down.
Post review add: I finished this book while in Zambia and wrote the review. I really want to read A Movable Feast, now, Hemingway’s last book before he killed himself, written about this marriage. I understand it is a nostalgic tribute to his first marriage and to Hadley.
We watched Hemingway and Gelhorn last night, and watched him leave Pauline, the false friend who snatched him from Hadley (this is not a spoiler, folks, this is history) for Gelhorn, and then in anger at Gelhorn, turn to the woman who would become his last wife. She is protrayed as a total twit.
The movie, Hemingway and Gelhorn, was only mildly interesting; Kidman was her glorious self but there was zero chemistry, her romance with Hemingway barely believable. And he comes off as a real jerk. The jerk part is consistent with The Paris Wife, but while The Paris Wife is more sympathetic to Hemingway, portraying him as damaged but vulnerable, in Hemingway and Gelhorn, he is just arrogant, egotistic and obnoxious. Still, after you read The Paris Wife, it is interesting to see the rest of the story.