I’m grounded by history.
I’ve been reminded of this many times over the past few weeks as I discover Washington, DC. Passing signs to my father’s old high school, waving to my great-grandmother in Arlington Cemetery (she has a great view of the Pentagon, where her husband worked), hearing stories about my grandfather’s grandparents farm (now a park), hearing about how my grandfather would walk their pony to Tyson’s Corner to be reshod as there was a blacksmith there.
Lately the photo above has been a touchstone. When I was a kid, my grandmother used to tell me about how we were related to the sculptor Daniel Chester French. This photo reminds me of big dreams and creativity and a smidge of hope that it will all look as magical as conceived once fully constructed. I still haven’t found the building that housed the bakery my grandfather’s grandmother owned, but my grandmother has a map.
There’s something about knowing all of this that allows me to sink into the city more, wondering about how our genes and journeys will mix as I wander around eying old buildings and time-tested construction. After moving so often and taking so many trips far and wide, it’s nice to find a spot of ground that feels firm and real and solid under my feet. In thinking about the hopes and dreams and fears and loves and first crushes in my family’s lives as they strolled along these streets to the market, to work, to the doctor, to school, a sense of magic surrounds me. It may seem silly or impossible or mawkish to some, but after feeling so temporary and transient, here, for a moment, this sense of being grounded comforts me deep and true and completely.
And for some crafty and otherwise creative links:
*Textile Encyclopedia*How to hem jeans in 3 easy steps
*The Newly Redesigned Mr. Xstitch! (Great job, Jamie!)
*Guide to Reading Japanese Crochet & Knitting Patterns
*Find where your clothes come from with the Baacode
*The Art of Manliness (Ok, not so crafty as interesting)
*Copenhagen Cyclic Chic (see how to bike in high heels)
*National Museum of African Art archives
*Make softies? How about making a few for Softies for Mirabel
*Awista Ayub’s However Tall the Mountain (what happens when young Afghan girls learn about soccer… and more)