Yesterday was a beautiful day and now that the month of October has hit, that means our business is now closed on Sundays and J gets some much needed down time on a Sunday. It was sooooo nice outside that we decided to get a few things taken care of that can only be done with his help.
One of the things needing to be done, one last time for the season, was to trim all of the surrounding bushes and landscape. I was on the front porch, supervising, and my eye caught sight of a very old, very antique wicker rocker that sits in one corner. This rocker had been handed down and handed down on my side of the family. I got it when I was living in an old historic aparment and needed a chair for my terrace area. I was given this when my grandfather was cleaning out his garage. Since I was in my early 20's, I really didn't care about the history or where it came from. Yesterday, I saw it in a whole new light. I was drawn to the shredded fabric and I started thinking that it was time to find new fabric to cover the cushions. As I continued to inspect the rips and tears, I found layers and layers and layers of fabrics that had been used, for the same purpose, over the years. Nobody had ever just stripped the entire fabric off to start fresh. They just continued to upholster over each pattern. I was able to expose enough different patterns to form a sort of kaleidoscope of colors, shapes and patterns. I started to make up all sorts of stories, in my head, for each piece of fabric. I wondered about the year, the time in history, the person who chose that particular fabric. Did it come from a bolt of fabric, a worn dress, a worn shirt, did the paisley print come from some sort of boho skirt?
In my ever changing moods, I no longer have anyone left in my family to answer these questions for me. I have no idea how old this chair is. I don't know how many family members used it before it found it's home with me. Who sat in this chair? What has this chair seen? I would like to think that some of the fabrics used came from my chair sitting in the Haight, for a period of time in the 60s, or at a big farmhouse that housed groups of friends all living, cooking and making music, together. Maybe people sat in it while watching monumental changes in history take place. Maybe the fabrics were recovered from fellow fashionistas that came before me. I started to wonder if maybe I was rocked, as a baby, in this chair by my own grandmother? I will never know. I will never have the answers.
The rip in the chair and the exposed layers of fabric seemed so symbolic, to me, this weekend. I had an unpleasant encounter, of sorts, with a family member. The type of encounter was nothing new but for some reason, it transported me, back in time, to where I was young and felt let down and disappointed for the millionith time. One more time, my feelings were hurt and felt like a big rip in my soul. I used to just daydream and look at life through rose colored or happy glasses. I would tell myself that someday, I would find peace and love. I was the girl with kaleidoscope eyes. So when I glanced down and studied this fabric, I knew that it could be mended, I knew that it could go on to bigger and better things and I knew that with a bit of love and preserving of the existing layers, it would continue on it's journey for the next generation lucky enough to have the chair handed down to them.
Maybe it possesses a sort of magic that falls on each person as they become the next girl with kaleidoscope eyes in need of a bit of magic...