Thursday, July 19, 2007


What is it that we seek when we're out hunting/gathering? What is it that separates the great stuff from the merely good? I believe that it's grace. Grace of conception, construction, creation; sometimes it's just a happy accident when the universe has, for once, conspired to help instead of hinder. I once bought a small willow creel, a fishing basket, that was just perfect. The curve of the back meant to sit comfortably on the hip, the carefully crafted pattern in the weave. It wasn't a particularly rare creel in the ordinary sense, but absolutely a rare creel in an extraordinary sense. It was special.

Thomas Merton, priest, scholar, author, wrote that Shaker chairs were imbued with grace because they were built by people capable of believing that angels might one day sit in them.

Last week we were out on a Saturday morning hunting/gathering and came to a yard sale where we bought a stack of quilts. One of them I thought was special. It reminded me of the spectacular quilts done by the quilters of Gee's Bend. I first heard of them through an article in the October 2006 issue of Smithsonian Magazine.

These quilts are imbued with grace.

While mine is not quite the same, it does have something special about it. There's a beauty to the layout and to the patch repairs. Unintentional, but fortuitous.

Let's just call it Tuesday's child.

And this is what I believe we should be seeking, both in the objects that we surround ourselves with, and in the company we keep. A certain grace.

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