I set aside the Tetrisghan for one day

My youngest son turned four two weeks after the terror attack now known as 9/11. In the immediate aftermath, his behavior changed —  his still three-year-old self went from carefully building block towers that he tried to make as high as he could, to building block towers that he would knock down immediately upon completion.

What became his tendency to knock things over collided with my tendency to build things up.

This was most apparent when we went to the beach — the two of us would argue about when (and if) he could knock over the rows of sand castle condos that I spent hours building with a bucket, and while I will never know the son he would have been, I love the son he is, and unlike Krystle Campbell, Martin Richard, and Lu Lingzi, the three victims who died in the Boston Marathon bombing this past Monday, my son and I will get up tomorrow morning and be able to enjoy the pleasure of going about our respective days.

Since Monday, the Boston Marathon bombing has dominated the news, and like many, I have checked various outlets almost compulsively, hoping that the next time I look there will be someone in custody or something that can qualify as “good” news.

Yesterday, while making one of my compulsive searches I came across this photo of the graduate student, Lu Lingzi:

Lu Lingzi with a crochet bag
Lu Lingzi with a crochet bag

I could not help but notice that she made some rather bold choices, mixing plaid with strips and carrying a bag with large, bright pom poms that would, from a distance, evoke polka dots.

I found Ms. Lingzi’s fashion choices to be rather fearless, as she herself must have been to have traveled half way around the world from her home in Shenyang, China, to come to the United States and study in Boston — as soon as I saw the bag, I wanted to make one and to be as fearless as I imagine she was.

My first effort at creating a simple-to-make crochet bag that evokes the essence of the bag carried by Ms. Lingzi, did not go well.

While I did devise an interesting, but difficult to describe construction technique, I also complicated things further by adding elements that were not in the original. Shortly before 5:00 pm, I realized that the only reasonable solution was to start over, so I did.

Using Red Heart Super Saver hunter green and a 5.5 mm hook, I got to work, reminding myself with each stitch that it was more important to capture the spirit of the bag rather than copy it exactly. By sunset, I had completed the main part of the future bag:

future crochet purse
The body of the crochet bag

and I thought it looked quite striking with the lining I had chosen for it earlier in the afternoon:

future crochet purse and fabric lining
The body of the crochet bag with the future fabric lining

This crochet bag will not bring back those who were lost in this attack, nor will it restore those who have been injured, but it will serve to remind me of both the fragility and tenacity of life, and, if you, like me, feel a need to make a tangible contribution, there is The One Fund which has been set up to take donations that will be used to help meet the expenses of those who were most affected by the bombing.

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