Thursday, January 14, 2021

A Special Kind of Torture

This may come as a complete surprise to some of you, but I suffer a wee bit from OCD. Mind you, it only manifests itself in the most useless of ways....not, for example, when it comes to housekeeping, promptness, social correctness, etc. but in totally annoying and counterproductive ways: I may have a counter full of "projects" and what-not, but the spices in my cupboard are arranged alphabetically. And, well, I expect an equal degree of "perfectionism" when I stitch...including the chart design.  And that is how it came to be that I am in fits of frustration with my newest project.

It started with the "R"....

Three stitches on the bottom left here....

....but only two stitches on the bottom left here.

Ok...easy enough to "fix," and certainly a more-than-forgivable error.

But then came the g's....

Version 1 vs. Version 2:

But wait for it....yes, there's a third version too:

Letter "u" was also graced with three different versions (and two versions in the very same name!):

And then there's the letter "A":

Since these "A"s begin the names, one can't as easily just add or subtract from them without affecting the left margin of the piece....

Oh...and speaking of that left margin:

"George" and "Rebecca" are in one space from "Ann," "Margaret," and "Alice"
(so, I guess who cares if I added "feet" to Alice's "A" 😕) ... and "George Burroughs' name is the longest of all the names so, if anything, it should be not be indented.

And speaking of George's long name, why are there 4 spaces between his first and last name (especially since his last name almost touches the leaves next to it), but only two between Rebecca's first and last name?

 And why do others have 3? And one even has 5???

And why do these two "stalks" (or whatever they are) not line up??

Then there is this wonky space where it shouldn't be....

Not a big deal in and of itself, but it throws off the reference points/spacing of things all around it since it doesn't go across the entire chart.

And dear Ann Foster....

This piece is meant as a memorial to those hanged as witches in Salem in 1692.  Giles Cory was pressed to death, not hanged, but he is always included with the group since he was killed for being a witch during the hysteria.

But Ann??? Nope....she was neither hanged nor pressed.  Yes, she was accused of witchcraft and jailed for it...but she died in jail (as many did).  (Many accused witches remained in jail long after the witch hysteria ended and the hangings stopped because their families could not pay the fees charged by the jail for their keep.)  

But MIA is Martha Carrier....who was, indeed, hanged as a witch....on August 19, 1692...the same day as the two Georges and the two Johns were hanged.  She was the only woman hanged that particular day and now she has been edged out her rightful place in history.

Are you still with me here??

No, I haven't burned my work at the stake...but I have resigned myself to the fact that there are just too many inconsistencies to remedy.  I have ripped poor George's name out more times than he has been disinterred and reinterred.

I have made uniform the "R's" and the "A's," the "g's" and some of the "u's" (but not all).  I have lined things up on the left margin, but have not made consistent the spacing between names since I had already stitched a great deal of the stalks to the right before this bugged the crap out of me I noticed this. 

Most importantly, I have given Martha Carrier her rightful place on the list. (Sorry Ann.)

And I bet you thought when I said "special kind of torture" I was referring to the hangings...,

Saturday, January 2, 2021

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me 
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief.  I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light.  

For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

(The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry)