What are needlepoint projects, aside from something you’ll find on the sidebar under that photo?
They’re things I’ve come across
things I’ve thought about
things I’ve lived through
things I’ve had to learn the hard way
things I’ve talked about
things I’ve written about
things I might write about
things which take a long time to work on
Life is a series of stitches. Day by day we weave another into the tapestry which forms the big picture. Laughter to brighten some here, grief to darken some there.
It makes a life. Birth and death are the frame, but the pattern is yours to choose.
No, I don’t do needlepoint. My mother has a collection of them, though. When I was growing up she always had one on the go. This one is called The Four Seasons, bought at Expo ’67 in Montreal, completed in 1970 and now hanging in the living room to brighten the home of her closest friend. It’s about three-foot square, 100 stitches to the square inch. One of her smaller efforts, actually. Did them all while bringing up three boys and nursing full-time at a hospital. Click on it to see a much larger version.
I’d most likely get blood poisoning three minutes after picking up the needle, so these are my needlepoint projects. Trying to put a new one in every week, and will leave them on a new page. Let’s see what sort of pattern they weave.
When we cannot find contentment in ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere. - François Rochefoucauld
In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer. – Albert Camus
The envious are not happy unless they are making other people envious. – Comtesse Diane
Failures are made only by those who fail to dare, not by those who dare to fail. – Louis Binstock
Experience is a good school, but the fees are high. – Heinrich Heine
If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything. – Mark Twain
The greedy search for money or success will almost always lead men into unhappiness. Why? Because that kind of life makes them depend upon things outside themselves.
- André Maurois
The struggle itself is enough to fill the heart. You have to imagine Sisyphus happy.
- Albert Camus
Perhaps parents would enjoy their children more if they stopped to realise that the film of childhood can never be run through for a second showing.
- Evelyn Nown
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
- Hunter S. Thompson
Life’s greatest achievement is the continual remaking of yourself so that at last you know how to live.
- Winfred Rhoades
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
- Cyril Connolly
All the authors who say they write for themselves are liars.
Writing is an act of communication, it’s an act of love, it’s something you do in order to be understood.
- Umberto Eco
The aim of a festive season is to attain amiability, and perhaps actual joy, which we may find in our private moments but which at Christmas we seek to attain together, thus it is a true test of the power of the community to elevate its members, without which we may as well take to the woods.
- Garrison Keillor
A change is as good as a rest.
All superstitions are such short cuts. Their aim is to make the unintelligible simple, and even obvious. – H.L. Mencken
An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind. – Buddha
I was born a dream chaser,
Running away from the country that made me,
Rock’n'roll you’re a home breaker,
Turnin’ my head from the family that made me. – Little River Band Days on the Road
The great paradox of the writer’s life
is how much time he spends alone
trying to connect with other people.
- Betsy Lerner
Don’t play for safety.
It’s the most dangerous thing in the world.
- Hugh Walpole
A confessional passage has probably never been written that didn’t stink a little bit of the writer’s pride in having given up his pride. The thing to listen for, every time, with a public confessor, is what he’s not confessing to.
- J.D. Salinger
We manufacture stories…from the fleeting sensory material that bombards us at every instant, a fragmented series of pictures, conversations, odors, and the touch of things and people. We delete most of it to live with some semblance of order, and the reshuffling of memory goes on until we die.
- Siri Hustvedt
The society we are born into is based on selfishness. Sociologists call that individualism, but there’s a shorter word: we live in a society of solitude. There are no more families, no more villages, there is no more God. Our elders delivered us from all that oppression and replaced it by turning on the television. We are abandoned to ourselves, incapable of interesting ourselves in anything else but our own navels.
- Love lasts three years.
…’Reality’ in America has become synonymous with the rank and sordid. We’ve fetishized the true story, the tell-all confession, reality TV, real people in their real lives, celebrity marriages, divorces, addictions, humiliation as entertainment – our version of the public hanging. The crowd gathers to gape.
- The Sorrows of an American
You’ll lose a whole year on the Internet, just in terms of looking things up.
(If you want to be a writer) To begin, don’t write about yourself. I’m not saying you’re uninteresting. I realize that your life has been so crazy no one could make this stuff up. But if you want to be a writer, start by writing about other people. Observe their faces, and the way they wave their hands around. Listen to the way they talk. Replay conversations in your mind – not just the words, but the silences as well. Imagine the lives of others. If you want to be a writer, you have to get over yourself.
-Allegra Goodman, author of Paradise Park
Memoir is the last place you’d expect to find the truth.
- David Sedaris
Travelling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, “I would stay and love you, but I have to go. This is my station.”
- Lisa St. Aubin de Teran
This is no time for Celebration
This is no time for Shaking Hands
This is no time for Backslapping
This is no time for Marching Bands
This is no time for Optimism
This is no time for Endless Thought
This is no time for my country Right or Wrong
Remember what that brought.
- Lou Reed, from the album New York