Like Linus from the Peanuts cartoon, I had a blanket that I carried with me everywhere as a child. There is no question that my earliest memory of cloth is tied to my blankie. I don’t recall the color or even the texture of the blanket. Instead, what comes to me when I remember this cloth is a feeling of comfort.
My blanket was given to me at birth by my mother’s mother. I wasn’t close to my grandmother, as she lived in California and we were in Montana, but the fact that she gave it to me made it even more special. When I was about three, Grandma Viola came to visit. During this visit, my blanket suddenly went missing. I looked for it EVERYWHERE. I remember asking my grandmother if she had seen it. I could not believe it when she went to what we called the rag drawer, a place where we kept old cloth to use as rags, and pulled it out. Now as an adult I totally understand that to her it looked like a rag. As a child though, I was in total shock that she had taken this precious item, which she had given to me, and put it in the rag drawer. It is as if this blanket was our connection and the fact that she did not realize this was devastating to me. This experience is one of my earliest memories.
When I was about seven or eight years old, my older brother and his friends were teasing me about my blanket. I remember making a conscious decision that I had to throw it away. I knew if I just threw it in the garbage can that I would retrieve it. Instead, I waited until the day the garbage truck came and took it out to the container in the alley. I still remember the sound of the truck that day, taking away my comfort.
I was one of six children so during much of my childhood I shared a bedroom with siblings. When I was ten, however, we moved from Montana to a small town in Washington State. Our new house had numerous bedrooms so for the first time I had a room of my own. Two things stand out in my memory about that room. First, I got to choose a color to paint the walls. I picked a beautiful light yellow which reminded me of being in the middle of sunshine. I loved the color of that room. The second thing was that it had a window that let me see out. The room was on the second floor of the house, facing the front. Across the street were the town baseball and football fields, so the view out my window was expansive.
The poem from this week’s lesson made me think about the energy of space. I have always felt like my environment was very important to me, much more so than for other people. I know that when I walk into some homes it is as if you can feel the love that has been held within the walls of the house. Other times, I walk into a room or space and instantly feel a sense of unease. It makes me wonder how much the energy of a place and maker is carried forth in the items being made.
I had this room from the age of 10 until we moved again at age 14. It was a nurturing space for me. For this first time in my life, I was able to explore being alone. I used to just gaze out that window and let my thoughts roam. As I went to create an image of this room, I knew that the yellow color was more important than anything. I was surprised to find multiple yellows throughout my stash of yarn, thread and fabric. I crocheted the walls, knit the bed covering, wove the rug, and sewed the pillow and curtains. I giggled to myself throughout the making of my room. I think that is a very good thing.