Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Fabrics of my Life

When the doctor said, "I am only doing this for your own good. It hurts me more then it hurt's you." and signed the paperwork, that would categorize me in permanent perpetuity as 'totally disabled', I went home, opened the cupboard that contains my yardage, and proceeded to make myself a completely new wardrobe to wear back to work.

Those clothes hung in my closet for two years. I would open the closet and glance at them and think how lovely it was going to be to have new clothes when I 'walked' into the building and greeted everyone just like I had never been gone. It took me a year to come face to face with reality. I was never going to 'walk' anywhere again, much less walk back into the building that housed the job that I had loved. Damned Polio!!!! It just wouldn't leave me alone.

I never let myself get depressed over this next step that polio was taking in my life. I had always been able to fight the polio back and go on to live my life as I had chosen, but this time the polio was a demon that demanded compliance and although those beautiful, unworn clothes were a symbol they were more a symbol of my ability to fight than a symbol that this time my fight had to take flight. I eventually gave them away. To wear them would have been to be constantly reminded of how wonderful they would have felt being worn 'out in the world'.

Now I go into yardage stores and I wander from aisle to aisle and fantasize about what I would have done with this piece of material and what I would love to do with that yardage. I scan through pattern books and draw pictures in my head of how I would alter this neckline, change those sleeves, and make that skirt flattering to my small waist and ever expanding hips. Sitting in a wheelchair requires to you sit all day and the clothes that I wear reflect my need to feel comfortable. Jeans and a large comfy sweater better fit the mood of my living now. But oh how I love the smell and feel of the yardage that sits in stores waiting for someone to touch it and dream about what they can create from the bolt that collects it's length.

I once went and bought a gallon of white paint. The friend that was with me thought I had lost my mind. He often watched me as I went about trying to quiet the need that wanted to create something new, but this time he was totally flummoxed.

I told him I was going to paint every piece of furniture in my bedroom white and he was more then welcome to help me if the desire arose. He walked away shaking his head, and I went about doing just as I had said. I painted the shelves on the wall, the dresser, the wardrobe, the waterbed headboard, the floor length mirror, and walls white. Then I went to the fabric store. I found some lovely, white, sheer material that flowed when I held it up. I found some black ribbon that shone when the light caught it just right. I found black satin and white satin that felt as if it was a cloud. I found the most beautiful black tulle that covered up what it was gathered around and revealed outlines and shapes when it was moved a bit. I found black lace and I found three fat candles; 1 white, 1 black, and 1 red. What I created with those treasures was one of the most beautiul, sensuous, and relaxing atmospheres that I have ever created for myself. And it all came from a fabric store!

I created white sheer curtains at all four corners of the bed. I tied the curtains back with the beautiful black ribbon. I created white sheer curtains for the window and gathered them so full that they let the sun come in the window in soft, diffused light. I created black satin sheets, and a white satin comforter, I created black and white satin pillows to throw on top of the white satin comforter. I appliqued the lace doily from a long gone grandmother to one of the black pillows. I made myself a black nightgown out of the sheer tulle and lace. I bought a white chair like the one that Jean Harlow is often pictured sexily lounging on. I bought a large green fern and put it in a black wrought iron stand under a white hanging lamp that I had made from pieces found at the Goodwill. I trimmed the shade with black and gold filigree that had been sitting in my sewing box. I hung it with a gold chain. I found a store that was getting rid of all its mirrors and discovered a treasure of little gold framed mirrors that were half price. I put them on the wall above the waterbed. The fat candles went on the dresser. The black and white pictures my son had painted in the fifth grade went on the wall with the funky red heart I had found at an artists exhibition. I had had no idea what the room was going to be when I had started, but a trip to the fabric store had set in motion a living proof that my inner struggle had found peace.

When my friend dropped by to see the 'all white' bedroom he walked in laughing, suddenly stopped, gulped, and slowly whistled. He told me I had created the sexiest room he had ever seen. But sexy isn't what that bedroom was all about. It was about me! I had spent a decade trying to come to terms with my sexuality; my womaness, my love of the intimate. That bedroom was my healing from a sexless marriage.

A person can create anything with a few lovely pieces of yardage.

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