After about a week of fog, the sun came out today. I interacted with a record number of people today…A man drove up in a station wagon with his blind mother. As I talked about the project, I got the impulse to put the knit line in his mother’s hands for her to touch. Her face lit up instantly. A lively group of kids were out on an autumn walk, red paper leaves pinned to their shirts with their names on them. They stopped and asked me what I was doing. I told them I’ve been a line to the ocean since last year, May 2012. One of the teachers asked the kids, “What’s the longest you’ve worked on something?” A boy said, “One hour!”
I also talked to these three kids on their way to fight duels with “weapons” made of foam and duct tape. The boy on the far left used to say hi every day on his walk to school last year. He has since transferred to a private school, so it was a treat to see him again.
C. mowed the lawn around me with her big, noisy mower. She and D. keep the weeds down under the bench. Harvey came by, and told me stories while I knit. My favorite was one in which he and his buddy were “hitching” and got picked up by a guy who had just broken up with his girlfriend. As he told them about her, Harvey and his friend were confounded that he had left her. “What am I doing? I’ve been such a jerk!” the driver realized, and dumping Harvey and sidekick on the side of the road, returned to his girlfriend.
The spunky woman that I’ve spoken with once or twice came back–this time with her husband, and two American friends visiting from Italy. Spunky had binoculars around her neck. She’s a birder, and has recently spotted the rare and stunning cedar waxwing, much to her amazement. So now she wears her binoculars, just in case another stunner comes along. I recommended the last chapter in “The Poetics of Space” by Gaston Bachelard, where he writes so poetically about the “round being of a bird.” She recommended an article by David Sedaris in the New Yorker about the wacky ends to which David goes to discourage a bird from tapping on his window. Spunky said it’s hilarious…I wanted to break out a bottle of champagne and visit with her and her friends all evening. Such lively conversationalists. We talked for a long time, and C. who was still working in the front yard, came and joined the pseudo-Italians to exchange stories about their respective experiences. We spilled off the sidewalk and onto the street.
Harvey talked about the ideal house–1950’s or earlier, with a big front porch on a tree-lined street, inviting people to linger and visit, as opposed to modern houses that you drive up to and disappear inside. I hope that my project will inspire others to do something fun to create community in their own neighborhood…