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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Wool and Silk and Wood 
26th-Jul-2009 08:00 am

from "Wool and Silk and Wood", interpreted by emilytheslayer. Tussah silk and baby camel handspun on wooden drop spindle. Hand wash only, about 2.5 oz.

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There are no strong parts for women in this story;
No warrior, no queen, no sorceress.
I stand at the threshold of it
stripped of all I was before -
dancing maiden, ingénue, studious young woman learning at my mother's loom.
Wife. Mother.
The story does not allow it.
I enter -
The Grandmother.

You stand before me
looking noble, eager
And I want to slap you.
I am losing you as I lost your brothers -
One beaming as I strapped your father's sword on him
(I did not raise him to line the belly of the dragon, my love)
One waving goodbye as he left to seek his fortune
(I did not raise him to die in a tavern brawl half the country away, my love)
And now you. Now you.
I did not raise you to perish to wizardry, my love.

Why do you not see
that you already have all the alchemy you need?
Sheep to wool, wool to yarn, yarn to your nice warm clothing
wool spinning, lanolin-slick, from a cloud of fluff to one thick thread
guided by my hands, your hands
through the wooden drop-spindle.
This is all the alchemy you need -
Tree to wood, wood to spindles and tables and shelves
carved and polished, shape from nothing;
your hand and a knife.
This is all you need -
bright silk from worms, through dye
to the ribbon in your childhood sweetheart's hair
bright in the morning light and so soft to the touch.

I raised you to be my legacy.
I raised you to spin and weave,
to know the old ways
to teach them to your children.
You see a future in your ethereal magic.
I see only a broken chain.

I love you enough to let you go.
I wish you loved this enough to stay -
me, your home, the village bonfire, your life.
I wish you could see that all the alchemy you need
is in wool and silk and wood.
I wish you could see that the old ways have their beauty, too.
I wish, I wish, I wish -
but no faeries come to grandmothers.

So I pack your bag,
books and bread and cheese
(paper from trees to books
grain transformed to bread
milk cultured to cheese
alchemy, if only you would see it)
warm woolen clothing.
A small drop-spindle,
wood worn by my hands, by my mother's hands -
so you do not forget.

I kiss you goodbye,
and I fade back into my cottage.
What befalls me, none will know.
Stories care naught for grandmothers,
just flashing steel and quests and sorcery.

There is alchemy right here, if only you would see it.

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Emily was spinning this tonight. Gorgeous stuff... such a vivid blue. The poem itself was inspired by a prompt from her, "wool and silk and wood", so having her create something based on something I created based on her idea is full-circle. And very cool.

This poem is actually my first published work; it was in Electric Velocipede #15/16.

Kat: "I'm gonna brandish a plate at you. I don't wanna brandish a knife; I might hurt myself."

Fabulous daughter is seated at my feet (why at my feet? I do not know), playing games on GaiaOnline.

You guys, we are kicking ass. We are all going to make it.

Elayna: "Aaagh, a gnome is attacking me! Now a flamingo's attacking me. Die, stupid flamingo!"
And we are talking about monkeys flinging poo. We're so classy.
26th-Jul-2009 12:10 pm (UTC)
26th-Jul-2009 12:19 pm (UTC)
Of Course you're all going to make it!
26th-Jul-2009 12:33 pm (UTC)
The poem itself was inspired by a prompt from her, "wool and silk and wood", so having her create something based on something I created based on her idea is full-circle. And very cool.

I love that. :)
26th-Jul-2009 03:14 pm (UTC)
How lovely!
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