But how to pick just one thing?
I have been looking and looking at an old typewriter carefully stored away. I love how it makes writing so sensory - from the feeling of each key under your finger, the sound and the solidness of it. And just look at those almost cinematic reels of print. It really is it's own mini opera house.
I was almost convinced, but then something kept drawing me back to an old box of dolls dress patterns I spotted right at the top of one shelf. And this is what I've finally picked.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. I've been playing with envelopes of patterns on how to make a life, to make peace, to make a world. Or origami clothes made out of poems and stories. Or a short story on who would have dedicated themselves to making something so small and yet so complicated. Look ...
Even more poignant in my view is that some of the pattern pieces are cut out of pages from the Honolulu Independent of 1899. Here's a scrap of news that I desciphered:
… her character, and he wrote a letter to her ordering her to leave the house of his relatives, or if she did not await his return when he would kick her out bodily. The letter was produced in court and described by Judge Wilcox as being couched in the most filthy, dirty, obscene and scurrilious language that it ever had been his misfortune to see. the learned magistrate discharged the case and advised the woman never to go back to a husband who could act as the brute before him had done. The judge regretted that the defendant did not have a big brother or a father who would thrash the plaintiff within an inch of his life. It was one of the instances where the whipping post was sadly needed.
I can't help wondering if whoever it was who so carefully cut out a sleeve pattern from this read it, and perhaps got a thrill from the story? Maybe she needed a beer after? This is one of the adverts:
For That Tired Feeling
That steals over you as the days work is over, there’s nothing else so good as a refreshing glass of RAINIER BEER. It is the tonic you need, beats all the medicine you can take, brings on around refreshing and healthy sleep and makes one feel like a new person. On tap or in bottles at the Criterion Saloon.
There's something about it that reminds me of one of the most beautiful artists books I saw in an exhibition in Washington this year. The artist, Yani Pecanins, had made the 'book' out of one of her childhood dresses:
In a note by the dress, she explains that she was inspired by the diary of Anne Frank, and when her mother gave her the old baby dress, ... 'it brought me closer to Anne Frank's words of feeling fragile and strong at the same time, knowing that you are growing but have so far to grow, that you are someone but you know not who, that you are just beginning to discover yourself.'