The things we carry

Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I taught introductory English courses as an adjunct instructor.

While I taught at a number of different institutions, one thing was constant: I would assign readings, and then my students and I would discuss them.

One such reading was Tim O’Brien’s short story “The Things They Carried.” In brief, the title story is about the things a particular soldier carries with him, the impact those things have on him, and his eventual decision to divest himself of those things.

What intrigued me about the story was how much the things we carry reveal about each of us, and today, when after numerous getting-caught-up-after-a-snowstory errands, I found myself with nowhere near as much crochet time as I would have liked, so I decided to clean my purse.

Since the ice melted enough to once again allow for getting out and driving, I have been getting caught up on the various errands that accumulated over the three-and-a-half days I wasn’t driving, and I tossed a number of small crochet projects into my bag so that if I got the chance to work on my crochet, I would have something with me.

My purse was, to put it politely, a total wreck, so I dumped everything out on a kitchen counter and began to organize it.

The first thing I tackled was this tangle-in-waiting:

random lengths of yarn
Random lengths of yarn in my bag waiting to tangle

Composed of a number of longer yarn scraps in an assortment of colors, I had intended to make a psychedelic granny square which I had not gotten done. Fortunately, the scraps had not yet had the chance to become a massive pile of difficult/impossible to untie knots, so I was able to get them wound into a small ball of yarn fairly quickly:

yarn scraps wound into a yarn ball
The yarn that wanted to tangle wound into a ball

The next item I unearthed was this mostly completed headband:

crochet headband crochet ear warmer
An almost but not quite finished headband

For a start, it needed the ends woven in and trimmed which I did:

crochet headband crochet ear warmer
The headband with the ends woven in ready to be blocked and tarted up

It also needs (in my estimation) to be blocked and then tarted up, but since there were a number of boho hearts in my purse that needed ends woven, and since I was cleaning out my purse, I turned my attention to those, and after about an hour of weaving in and trimming ends, I had this to show for myself:

boho crochet hearts
Some boho hearts with the ends woven in

I know that the contents of my purse tell a lot about me, and I think that what these particular items say is I’d rather be crocheting.

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5 thoughts on “The things we carry

  1. You certainly carry beautiful colors in your purse. Mine is quite drab in comparison. Glad you could complete most of your purse projects, and I hope we soon see the granny square made with the brilliant colors from the previous tangle in waiting. Oh yes, and the started up headband too.

  2. addicted to yarn would be one of the things that would be written up in your obits. and far far into the future, they will know in one glance.

  3. Sounds as if we inhabited a similar galaxy far far away…and have now replaced it with this wonderful world of colors. Would love to read more of your thoughts on that transition sometime. Or if those are buried deep within your blog, perhaps you could point me in the right direction?

  4. I certainly can tell that you taught English. Your prose is lovely and this meaningful story reflects a deep awareness of who you are. Well done.

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