Under siege. A Geranium dress is started

Gary and Margot 9Nov2014 hands

“Its been a very unhappy week,” I confessed to my husband

“Its been a very unhappy week for Australia,” he replied.

This evening as I slow danced with my daughter, locked in my arms, her head to my shoulder and listened to the sound of her breathing whilst my son played about my knees and laughed and giggled and clambered and shouted… like the cute, noisy little munchkin that he is. I thought about how it really felt like a lack lustre lead up to my favourite time of year. It is a week before Christmas…

Admittedly, “the Siege” (or hostage crisis) that occurred in Sydney earlier this week coloured some of the days that followed. I was up at 2am feeding my daughter when the storming of the Lindt cafe was televised. Like many other Australians I have spent time in the area where the siege took place and worked in Sydney’s CBD at different points in my career. I woke my husband up. We watched it together. We sat in front of our tv contemplating the fact that before our eyes, real time, people were being killed.

I was in Toronto when September 11 occurred and it was very much the same feeling- that sadness- that in the world we live in  people can act in a way, for whatever reason that is truly vile. Senseless violence, needless death. Heavy words for what is essentially sewing blog!

The thing is, the woman who died in the siege was exactly my age. She finished high school when I did. She had three children, the youngest about the age of my son. All week, that woman and her family played on my mind… that on Monday morning when she walked out the door and said her goodbyes to her family, she could have had no way of knowing that she would never see them again. She had probably Christmas plans to look forward to, presents to wrap for her kids if they weren’t already hidden… This might also have been her favourite time of year.

So what do we do in this crazy world when something like this happens? What can we really do? Well.. I started sewing a Geranium dress. This is not a stellar, worldly important thing to do. But it is what I do. Sewing, creating is the activity the has become my anchor in a sea of days. It is a humble act. This dress will be a gift for my baby daughter, a little piece of stitches and patterns that may one day be forgotten… but is really the workmanship of my hands and heart saying “I love you… you have that” even if I can’t ever fully protect my children from some of the awful things that happen in the world. (I also have some sandbox pants (Oliver and S) cut from Birch organic wave for my son, waiting to be assembled…)

My husband has just handed me an omlette on a bagel. He is tired, he has just driven three hours each way to his Uncle’s funeral. He hates cooking. Yes,its been a lousy week, but somehow with these little gestures, these little forms of “I love you” we all get by.

I promise my following posts will be less somber but I want to add something my dad once told me about how he coped after Vietnam… and he almost never spoke about it or the friends he lost. But I am sharing it with you, my reader in the internet abyss… He said “You live your life for them, knowing it could have been you. You were only separated by luck,”

We are all separated by luck, and when this stuff happens I think its really about cherishing what we have and not wasting a minute or an opportunity for a full life, for joy. Life is short, dear reader.

If all else fails, try online shopping. (joke)

Next post: a HAPPY update on my Geranium dress in Liberty red floral…

Now, for a glass of red wine…!

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