Sunday, September 6, 2009

Getting to Know the Neighbors

I am still a newcomer here. I have always keep much of myself to myself because I have a variety of interests. I slowly find friends and acquaintances in each area, but only a few friends who are aware of the spectrum. So I talk to Jenny, next door, who has beautiful plants on her patio about my geraniums and tomato plant. I chat with only a few others in the complex -- it's a friendly place but I checked out the Wednesday morning coffee klatch and found it gossipy, checked out the Thursday evening needlework group and found found only a few with very narrow interests. I do not feel a need for immediate friendships, Rachel et al are nearby and I have always been happy pursuing my interests alone. The poetry group is shaping up nicely, a good discussion every couple of weeks and an ongoing impetus to find a poem getting written in my head [so far only first lines].

There have been a couple of conversations with Jenny and Marilyn, who is further down the hall, about new trees planted in the yard, and the regular visits of groups of geese -- attractive to see, but layers of landmines in the form of their droppings which are plentiful. Yesterday as I returned from a walk Jenny and Marilyn were conferring about the trees. I joined the chat and then Jenny asked if she had seen a quilt on my wall through the window. Yes, of course. Both ladies had tried quilting at some time, but in a dabbling and not very enthusiastic fashion. Of course I invited them in to see the quilt on my wall and one lead to more, to the "studio" [I did not call it that - the word sounds pretentious and I am not of the "artist" caliber.] But they were mightily impressed. Yes, I have a lot of projects going -- I'm trying to clean up several unfinished ones. I think they're interesting quilts but far from awe inspiring.

This is a gossipy place, before long many people will know that I'm "the quilter". Fine. It's a hobby of the passionate sort. I'd like to find some true quilting soul-mates, maybe only 4 or 5 to share my enthusiasm. However, I am impressed by how impressionable people are. Not that I didn't know this but I am the very opposite, not at all easily impressed, perhaps judgmental, cynical, or a nice word "discerning."

So far I have been careful not to say to anyone but Rachel & Patrick that I'm working on the TCB biography. People have an even more knee jerk awe of those of us who say we are writers. I have not even spoken to the poetry group of the bio or of other things I have written. While I think there is no magic in writing I suppose I'm wrong -- to an extent. I read Wislawa Szymborska's Nobel speech last night. She spoke of inspiration which for her is to say "I don't know." [I wonder if the translation might be more correctly, "I wonder if--"] She says most people do not ask questions. What if Isaac Newton had said not said "I don't know what to think of those falling apples?" Others would not ask, they'd just grab an apple and eat it. Perhaps she is right that only a few people think in this way. I don't want the neighborly gossip mill to tag me "the writer" -- I'll be content with "the quilter". And those who might eventually know me as a writer will probably have absolutely no interest in quilting. So it is in the world of infinite interests -- and the more usual world of limited interests.

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