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Of use

Posted on by MK Carroll

There are several handmade things that I use in my daily life, yet haven't been finding worthy of photos and blog posts, because they are so ordinary and so simple. Yet these are also the things that I use daily, like the kitchen towel hanging on the oven handle. My mother has crocheted dozens of these loops onto kitchen towels and gives most of them away; the drink coasters in the photo below are ones that I've made several of and which get tucked under glasses, mugs, and a teapot. Sometimes it's the little things that make a house a home.

Kitchen towel with crocheted hanging loop

Kitchen towel with crocheted hanging loop

To Be of Use

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil, 
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used. 
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real. 

Marge Piercy

Crochet drink coasters

Crochet drink coasters