Friday, 9 March 2007

My small world

It is funny how one singular, mundane act or observation can spurn an ambush of thoughts. I liken the phenomenon to a darkened stage in which a single actor is spot-lit and then suddenly the red velvet curtains are flung back to a blaring brass band and flurry of colourful and overwhelming activity on a broadened stage.

Yesterday I took the kids to Richmond. There is a decent mall there. It was not that I was exactly awash with dosh, rather it was raining and we needed something to do, so we went mall walking and window shopping.

Inside the mall, Cathay, the airline, has donated a play gym, in the shape of an aeroplane. The kids love it.

I was observing the 8 or so kids playing.They were all playing rather rough, but in a good way. A girl in front of me, scrambled enthusiastically onto the wing of the plane and then something fell; a single pink button, which rolled under the aeroplane. I tried to get the girl's attention, but she was having too much fun to notice me on the fringe of activity, so I let it go.

Witnessing the unleashed button hurtling to the ground, set me thinking about the button's fate and what I would do with a single pink button, and then to my own hopeless sewing skills. For instance, the black jumper I made in home economics class in grade 8; the one with the holes in the arm pits; the jumper that my sewing skilled Mum was so affronted and appalled by, that she made me spend the entire following weekend making another jumper, under her guidance - a canary yellow version that I could wear to netball (canary yellow, then being among my least favourite colours; black on the other hand...). I think I have detested sewing ever since.

It is perhaps my single regret in life, that I can not sew. My attempts are truly, so amateur, that the word amateur is an insult to all sewing people who call themselves amateur...I am a plain old non-sewer. I can't even handle the task of a simple row of stitching to mend a tear, darn a sock or hitch a hem - let alone affix a button. I have considered buying a machine and then try teaching myself, but I have managed to fight the urge thus far.

Sigh, what a waste - to behold that single bright pink button, laying detached and purposeless upon a cloud covered carpet; destined for the tip when the cleaners come along at days end; its useful life over, and who knows from whence it had travelled and the experiences it had had along the way, only to be met by such an anti-climatic end....

My son brought me back from the tragedy of my collective thoughts concerning the pink button, presenting his palm with the gleaming pink button, resting in the centre. Smiling he said, "look what I found". Looking around, the girl and her family appeared to have left, so I told him to put it in his pocket. He asked me to look after it for him, and I gladly took it, thinking further about what I could do with the button, as I gazed upon its cheerful, candy-like hue.

Since I was clearly unqualified to sew it to anything, I changed my tact and considered craft ideas for the button -mmm scrap-booking. People use all kinds of stuff to pretty up their photo pages. Perhaps I could use it for some kind of craft project...yes. And so, I resigned to placing it in a box for a rainy day.

The girl, whose pants had previously been adorned with a pink button at the ankle, passed me by, just as I began considering the reality that the poor button would likely be found in a century or so, rattling around in some discarded, dusty old box covered with cob-webs.

I reached into my pocket and approached her, "I think this might be yours", I said presenting her with the button. She looked disappointed that the button has fallen off, but her mother (bless her), assured her that she could sew it back on. The girl and her mother thanked me and walked away; the button had been given a second chance to live out its purpose.

So there you have it- yesterday I was a button's hero :)


Kimberly said...

I love how you can take something basically mundane and spin it into a sweet, thought-provoking story. That's an amazing talent.

And being the hero of a button is better than not being a hero at all.

strauss said...

Oh, you are so lovely. Thank you. Yep, I guess being the hero to a button is better than nothing ;)