Life is made up of circles; some converge on one another, some are concentric, and some stay forever separate. Cycles are circles; layers of connection meet other layers to wheel and roll through the Great Dance which forms our days. Sometimes an experience comes full circle, completion ripe in the moment, a startling feeling of turgid goodness and a feeling of rightness in the world. This is true with grieving, it’s true with the discovery that the teaching of an idea is connected to many other ideas with many facets and layers. It’s true in relationships which grow and mellow and evolve over many years. You have your own truths. These are mine.
New understanding is just that – understanding. It can be revelation, which comes in various forms. Maybe it’s that oh, crap, I was completely mistaken kind of a feeling. Maybe, instead, it’s the realization that all the things you have believed are startlingly, solidly, blindingly true. Connections glow like streetlights, illuminating a yellow brick road directly to that feeling of having understood.
What does this have to do with the tags in this post, with textiles, or books and writing and history? It’s fairly clear by now, I hope, that there is some history involved. Let’s get back to that for a bit. The other pieces will follow, concentric or convergent circles and layers of understanding. History is story. Remember the young woman from Part 1? Yes, we’ll leave the parentheses and just say, it’s me, now not so young, and the story continues.
That other woman, whose lace and postcards I was given, still fascinates me. I have come to be the one who is “interested in Aunt Kate”. Wonder of wonders, I speak up at some point when the dinosaur of a hand-crank coffee grinder from the store she ran with her father is offered, an inconvenient heirloom – and it’s ours! It is a treasure which has pride of place in our entryway, and which grinds all our coffee now.
Sometimes I think of that woman, Kate, who fascinates me, as I turn the big flywheel with a crank worn smooth. About a decade after the turn of the last century, Kate would have turned this crank, would have caught the dark scent of grinding coffee in her nostrils, heard the gritty churning click within the hopper as beans were pulled down into the grinding plates. I count myself fortunate that the circles are concentric, that they converge in some way. It would be my loss if they were divergent, one from another.