Last night I walked the dog around midnight and was stunned by a waxing, gibbous moon sailing across the sky.
It was as if there was a bright street light shining on the driveway. I could see Mars, and also Regulus, unusually close to one another, and the moon. Quite the show, and, yes, rather inspiring.
Less inspiring to someone like me is the concept of pre made needlepoint belts, which used to be known as, ahem, breakup belts. This was of course due to the fact that your formerly beloved could well be long gone, the way of the dodo bird, by the time you’ve finished stitching it.
So, nowadays, instead of bothering with all that tiresome stitching business, some clever outfits sell needlepoint belts that are already done up by someone else, usually in a third world country.
They’re typically retailed for around $200, and some even come wrapped in a whole bunch of upscale marketing jive, including pictures of handsome, polo-pony-riding young men smiling at you, in appreciation of your stunning Penelope-like devotion.
And so absolutely clueless about what stitching is about.
But so totally in tune with what I think of as the modern ghost writer syndrome — pssstt, why write a book, if you’re a celeb, when you can have someone else do it for you?
And, by extension, why stitch, when someone can do it that for you, too?
It’s the same thing!
Or is it?
I don’t know why you have to pretend that you stitched a needlepoint belt for your current Loved One, when you don’t do this with anything else.
For example, if you give him a shirt, do you say you’ve turned into a haberdasher? If you give him a watch, do you suddenly claim your family is originally Swiss? If you want to give him a kiss for being so nice about something, do you have someone else do that for you?
No, no , and no.
I think so much of what we see around us is so phoney and fake and made someplace else or made by machines or made without any regard to the pride of craftsmanship.
We’re too busy for that, it seems, so if you’re young and live in an urban area, it’s Chinese take-out every night, and if you live in a retirement place, it’s the early bird, with two-for-one watered-down drinks, and quasi institutional food served by teenagers.
The nice thing about last night’s moon show is that it was real. Imagine if what I saw last was not the real moon, but a facsimile of it.
And that’s why I think we needlepoint.
Sure, occasionally you might come up with a stitched canvas that makes you think just because one can doesn’t mean one should. But I think taking the time out to make a needlepoint belt for someone is not such an ordeal.
After all, I’ve been stitching mine for my dearly beloved for only 3 years now.
© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016.