Today we're tying up the chapter on Patterns and there's some lovely food for thought in those final few pages.
Repetition - much of my own domestic life has followed a repetitive pattern and though circumstances or an environment may change there are certain things which do not.
I laughed many years ago as a fellow homeschool mum voiced her frustration about the continual routine of washing clothes - "no matter how satisfied you feel when all the washing is done and hung on the line, you wake up next day and there's the next mountain of it waiting for you to start the same process over again. It's the same with dishes but they don't even wait a day!"
I'd laughed because she had two children and I'd birthed seven but my initial response of "girl, you have no idea how much washing you don't have" was left unspoken because I remembered back to the birth of my second baby and having two in nappies (cloth) and the realisation that a revolving door from washing machine to the clothesline seemed to swing endlessly round and round.
Regardless of how many children, how many family members, how many visitors - repetitive trips to the washing machine and the clothesline are indeed a very needful and integral part of the gentle domestic life, which is why I very much like the quote from Jane used in my top photo.
"The world of domesticity is a microcosm with its own, inescapable 'diurnal round', and a great part of the gentle art of domesticity is an acceptance and then a valuing of repetition." (page 110)
I quickly came to value the gift of motherhood but the gift of ever increasing housework took time to grow. But given time you realise it IS a gift, to have people to care for, to have the ability to LOVE not just in words and emotionally, but as a verb, as a doing thing, in acts of giving time and energy and patience and acceptance for the repetitions.
Now let's see what Jane has to say this week.
THE SOCK KNITTER
Once again Jane takes us on a journey through art and today we're looking at three wonderful paintings which highlight the knitting of socks.
The Sock Knitter (1915) by Grace Cossington Smith
"...her eyes look down as she focuses on the tiny stitches and the memorised pattern. She is a wonderful subject for painters..." (page 108)
Daisy Knitting (1943) etching on paper by Edgar Holloway
"...soft blurred lines...seem to suggest that although Daisy is physically present, she cannot be captured fully as her mind is freed by the gentle, meditative rhythms of her knitting." (page 108)
The Purple Stocking (1919) by James Jebusa Shannon
"The girl looks so fresh and young, yet calm and confident with her knitting...the modern domestic angel knits socks, it says, and not in dreary drudgery, but with a spirit of bohemian beauty..." (page 108)
THE DIURNAL ROUND
I had to look up that word so in case you're also wondering what diurnal means -
"Any pattern that recurs daily"
"...we can choose to be a part of, or apart from, this kind of repetition, because no matter what we do, the world will still keep turning." (page 110)
"Although I admit that I'll never be thrilled with many aspects of repetitive housework, I have discovered some more pleasurable domestic patterns that...I am happy to repeat." (page 110)
Jane then goes on to discuss the way a new project can have a repetitive rhythm between the excitement of starting and the delight in finishing - one reason why we, as crafters, repeat the process over and over, finding the pattern of making both therapeutic and blissfully zoning out.
SUNSHINE AFTER THE RAIN QUILT
"Ever since quilts first attracted my attention...I have been fascinated by log cabin quilts. I love...the endless permutations of patterns...I also like the fact that each block represents a home. Thus a log cabin quilt makes up a whole community of cabins or homes in a pleasing fusion of creativity and domesticity." (page 112)
Jane's "Sunshine After the Rain" quilt is made up of forty-nine log cabin blocks in tones of yellow and grey, depicting England's constant pattern of sunshine and rain all through the year
She added the fiery orange centres to represent a warm hearth.
This is her son Tom's favourite quilt as it was he who helped to bring all the blocks together into one rather beautiful flow which showed rays of yellow sunshine with grey diagonals of slanting rain.
Must admit, I'm rather inspired by this quilt myself.
"Just as night comes after day and sunshine after rain, so a log cabin comes to every quilter." (page 112)
We're reading pages 114 - 125 next.
* Let's consider repetition in a gentle domestic life this week, so with that in mind share in the comments below (or in your own linked blog post) the challenges and delights you have found as a homemaker.
NOTE: Next book study post will be May 14th.
I'm taking a two-week break from this book study as our home is being repaired after the January floods and whilst workmen are here for seven days, starting tomorrow, I'll hide away in the sewing room to complete "Phyllis May's Kitchen" and leave them to the dusty mess.
FREE PATTERN & GIVEAWAY
I'll share the free May pattern and announce the next giveaway in Thursday's (2nd May) blog post as I'm still deciding what to share with you...decisions, decisions.
Every week in the Tuesday book study post I'm encouraging readers and lovers of the gentle domestic life who have a current blog and have blogged about Living the Gentle Domestic Life this year to link their relevant weekly book study post for others to come by, visit their blogs and be inspired.
Please do not link to the same post on your blog each week. Your posts should be new and relevant to the current week's study.
NOTE: If your link is advertising or not a true reflection of the heart for living a gentle domestic life it will be deleted.
Bless you heaps,