4.07.2013

MENDING THE MOTH HOLES WITH DRAGONFLIES

Last week I read an amazing article in The New York Times by one of my favorite science writers, Natalie Angier, on dragonflies. These are among my favorite creatures, and the slow motion videos and photographs accompanying the piece are not to be missed. I don't think I will ever forget the bullfrog leaping up to try and cram an eight-spotted skimmer into his wide mouth; I've watched that film clip a hundred times at least.


When I began to mend the moth holes--moths! where do they come from, in the middle of an apartment in the middle of winter in the middle of the city?-- in some of my favorite wool camisoles, I had dragonflies on the brain. I decided that rather than try to sew the holes shut with a camouflaging thread, which never works anyway, I would take a cue from the sparkle and clatter of the pond. I put away the cream-colored thread and pulled out blue, orange and red spools. I remembered learning from my French grandmother how to embroider, but that was so many years ago, when I was 8 or 9. She did beautiful needlework, as did my father's mother. It is a deeply civilized skill. Everything is so disposable these days. Something tears and we toss it. Sewing binds us closer to our clothes, and I like to think that over the years, as the moths nibble, my camisole will blossom.

Even in my clumsy fingers the needle found its way around the holes, tracing a few asters. A friend phoned while I was sewing, and as we chatted amiably and aimlessly a dragonfly began to appear. I thought how lovely it might be to join a sewing circle so I could chat and pick up embroidery tips. The dragonfly began a metamorphosis of his own. Perhaps the desperately zanily hungry bullfrog was still on my mind. I tossed him a mayfly. Sort of. I had fun.

8 comments:

Martine Frampton said...

love this, thanks for sharing.

Kathy said...

As usual we are on the same wavelength...I love this and would also like to "pin" it but I don't see a "pin it" button

Jayne Rogers said...

I love the beauty and charm of your "recycling"! Too many would just throw away a holey wooley camisole! I belong to two "sewing circles" and recommend them for the pure pleasure of comraderie. One meets once a week and we stitch, serve each other lunch, and the proceeds of our subsequent sale go to local charities. The other smaller group is my REAL circle of friends; we have been stitching and taking tea for over 20 years. We carve out time to spend together and while stitching, the deepest of friendships have blossomed. We've stitched through everything, good and bad.

Allison Cobb said...

I can't help but feel jarred by the mark of Science on the wings of these insects. They have left the realm of autonomous living creature and become "specimen" -- an object of study for humans, which seems to inevitably entail violence. Do they suffer when they have their brains probed? Also troubling of course is the fact that the U.S. military funds the research for drone applications. Couldn't more of our own awe-inspiring ingenuity be applied to ends constructive rather than destructive? Dominique, your stitching provides some balm for this. What if we approached each item in our lives with the same sort of reverence you give to this wool camisol? So many objects come from the bodies of living creatures, after all (including plastic). What kind of world might we create if we lived our lives in such a state?

slow love life said...

Allison, this is why you are one of my favorite poets. Go to her blog, all. Allison Cobb, where she is unscrolling the Autobiography of Plastic.

slow love life said...

oy. Let me find out about pinning, pinterest. did I leave that off?

amyclems said...

Love this idea! Instead of thinking of moth holes as a problem, it's an opportunity to be creative! A good solution for those little holes in my NZ Icebreaker merino camisoles.

Roberta Martone Pavia said...

What a terrific idea! Now I can save those special "worn out" pieces I just can't part with!! Yippee. Where DO those moths come from anyway, in the middle (or near end I hope) of a frigid New England winter???