Monday, January 08, 2007

It's a Toss-Up --

-- where it's more satisfying to finish something that's taken a good bit of time -- "Ah, done at last!" -- or to begin something new -- "okay, let's see what this is going to be." Being greedy for nice experiences and good at tending to my desires, I often make both happen almost simultaneously. The dark quartet of Carol Doak paper-pieced stars that I've been writing about for some time is now finished. It's even got a name.

"PLUTO, no star or planet, Dim object in the far darkness. Star Quartet #14" That's how I feel about it so that's what I'll call it. I think the green binding adds some oomph. Hanging on my wall it's not actually ugly or even out of place in my living room with my dark furniture. But I am SO happy it's done.

I've decided on the next quartet, have a drawing of the paper pattern ready to take to the Xerox place with my easy tear paper. I think I've decided on the background and tomorrow, likely, I'll start pulling fabrics from my stash for the star -- love that part. Then make a first quarter star and see how it goes together. If that's good, do the first star over a week's time and decided whether that works ... I've got some "Orphan squares" from stars that didn't work. This is the true surprise stage because I can imagine how the fabric, colors, their tones will look together, but I simply don't really KNOW until I see them.

Of course I have other projects to work on -- some big writing projects, and a couple of bed or at least lap size quilts that just called to me -- one when I saw a piece of fabric I thought would be really neat and fun for a "Stack and Whack" quilt -- the process totally delights me as I sew! And another paper pieced project that looks intriguing. Oh, there's no end of things to do. I need more time and a long, long life. I'm working on how to achieve both.

To change the subject: two contrasting things I've heard in the last 24 hours: As I came in from seeing a new Turkish film yesterday afternoon I met someone in the elevator who asked where I was coming from. His response to my answer was, "I'm not interested in Turkish movies." The poorer he, I thought; it was not a great movie but lovely to look at and fascinating as a study in romance in a culture I know little about.

In contrast one of my jobs today was to transcribe an interview with the musician Bela Fleck about his musical experiences in Uganda and Tanzania. He was entirely open to learning music when playing with local musicians in an idiom that was new to him. He admitted his preconceived ideas about African villages and actual fear driving through a chaotic marketplace. Then he considered his own presumptuousness for assuming that his musical skill would be immediately adaptable and probably superior to the skill of African musicians. In fact, he found himself at a loss how to hold his own with one musician in particular. It was a startling experience but one that, in retrospect, was exciting.

A short elevator ride was plenty of time to spend with the first man. I spent five hours today listening to and transcribing the Fleck interview. I will probably spend about six hours tomorrow "with" him. It's a pleasure ... I'm only sorry that this set of interviews contain no music except his occasional meditative strumming on the banjo as he waits for the technicians to do their work. I look forward to it. Thoughtful people like Fleck, whatever their field, make my job fascinating ... unfortunately many people on tapes are as narrow and dull as the man who is uninterested in Turkish movies.

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