ready the fleet

crossing the field & making marks

something must’ve struck me about the image above, for back in my scribbling days i marked it with my favorite yellow crayon, so that when i just happened to come across it some twenty eight years later in a dusty book at my parent’s shop it’d stop me – in. my. tracks. was i clumsily trying to star it because i liked the image of the women in their matching mechanic suits, walking across the air field in a confident but down to earth manner? was i already aspiring at a young age to be like one of these women? why did i mark this page…? why did i find it after all these years…? and how is it that i know for certain it was me, and not one of my sisters, that tagged it? what am i trying to foretell myself here? even though i found the mark, i often feel as if i’ve completely missed it. i’m well aware that life doesn’t come with a manual or pre-flight check list, but sometimes i just wish there was something more certain to go by. high school, check. college, check. grad school, check. career, sort-of check… on second thought, scratch that last one. where’s a good pink eraser when you need it?

my friend maggie, blogner of the curiosity shop at slotharium, recently posted about her own appreciation for rosie the riveter. she even had some local landscape interventions to experience them by this past memorial day. but seeing that it was i who begged her to start blogging, she’s now taunting me to pick up the blogging stick once again, even if i don’t feel as if i have much to say. yes ma’am…

here’s a somewhat recent cartoon, from the april 4, 2001 edition of the new yorker that’s been on the desk for a while, waiting for its moment at grwhryrpltd. it pretty much sums it up for me.

phew...

while not a worm, i do have an affinity for caterpillars, both before and after pupation. it’s especially cool when i’m able to convince a newly opened swallowtail butterfly to cling to my finger. there’s an amazing, unforgetable energy transferred from butterfly legs to human digits. you should try it sometime, if given the opportunity. i rescued this guy for a spell, then placed him on the flowering Diplo perennis (perennial corn) we’re trialing here in the garden:

male black swallowtail on perennial corn

thanks to my friend cindy for the link help to identify this guy from the gals. i was able to “rescue” another swallowtail from certain kitty doom yesterday, and she (the butterfly that is) seemed relieved for the assistance. while i may not have a matching swallowtail mechanic suit to strut amongst the sunflower patch with her, i have a quilt in the works that should suffice. it’s of my own design, modeled after the stripes on a swallowtail caterpillar. while it takes a certain amount of explanation to point out the similarities between the caterpillar and sewn squares, i sure like the mystery about it. i went to design school dang it, and not everything has to appear realistically. can you figure it out? here’s a hint: think vertically, in groups of three.

caterpillar quilt, in the works

see the resemblance?

Polyxenes asterius (black swallowtail) caterpillar

moral of the story: you really don’t need to know about everything all the time. but if you pick up clues and insights along the way, you’re probably doing okay.

now, where did that yellow crayon get to…

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6 thoughts on “ready the fleet

  1. Taunting, you say? Why–I merely threw down the gauntlet, young lady!

    I love your mechanic women picture, too.
    I was fascinated by WWII-era women when I was young, and by my grandmother’s story of drawing her stocking seams on with eyebrow pencil. It was a story of doing without, but, following your cartoon’s advice, I didn’t need to know that at the time, so it sounded exciting.

    And anyone who can extract such a beautiful pattern language from a caterpillar and sew it perfectly into a quilt needs to add Gifted? Check! to their list of milestones accomplished.

    signed,
    your fan

  2. Thanks for the link love! I love the New Yorker cartoon … it’s a good reminder for us all. I’m in awe of your creativity and agree w/Maggie, you are most definitely gifted!

  3. Love both the photo and the quilt.

    I wore my “Rosie the Riveter” bike jersey yesterday for my ride with the local cycling club. Got lots of compliments. I’ve always been fascinated with that time period, and how the women on the home front responded to the crisis, so if I’d had the yellow crayon the photo, I probably would have drawn all over it, too.

  4. I have to say, I was missing your posts! As always, you are fantastic my dear. That quilt is killer – very inspiring!

  5. Gorgeous! So glad you’re back. I have a fascination with Rosie the Riveter too, and I think I’m unconsciously trying to live up to her mystique here on the farm. I love your quilt and how you’ve taken inspiration from the caterpillar. You are so creative and inspiring!

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