Fine Fabric


Bob in “the” sarong, Bali, mid-1990’s jdbphoto

Fine Fabric

The fabric of my batik blouse seems to have grown too thin
as though what keeps the world out suddenly wants in.
A small tear on the shoulder and a long rend on the hem—
At first I wondered what it was that could be causing them.
Its fabric was durable— a fine hand-dyed sarong
spotted in the market and purchased for a song.
Young travelers in Bali, we had watched them being made—
as they traced the delicate patterns, we stood there in the shade.

And then I remembered it was nineteen seventy three
forty-four years ago that I brought it home with me
still smelling from the wax used as a resist for the dye.
The palm trees and the gamelan, the ocean and the sky
are memories wrapped up in that sarong I purchased there.
I used for a wrap–around, a towel for my hair,
a curtain and a picnic blanket, bedspread and a shawl,
a tablecloth and blanket—it served for one and all
as we traveled with our backpacks, on foot and boats and plane
then I took it with me when I went back home again.

Twenty-some years later, with my husband now along
I returned to Bali and brought my old sarong.
We found another like it—one for me and one for Bob.
Whenever clothes were called for, those sarongs did the job.
For years since then, I’ve used them for tablecloth or shawl,
for coverups around the pool, a curtain for the hall.
I had a caftan made of one. Now on another shore,
I wear it nearly every day and this is how it tore.

The woven equipale chair with tiny nails within it
reaches out for fabric every time  I go to sit.
It gets my lovely caftan. and another favorite, too.
I know I shouldn’t sit in them, and yet I often do.
These memories are torn from us. It’s no good to resist.
All the parts of those gone days retreating in the mist.
Its fragile fabric wears away in spite of all our care.
It will not last forever. One day it won’t be there.
Later, I will  join it through the tears life’s made in me.
All things are made or born to this inevitability.

 (Click on first photo below to enlarge all and read captions.)



Fabric is the prompt word today.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , on by .

About lifelessons

My blog, which started out to be about overcoming grief, quickly grew into a blog about celebrating life. I post daily: poems, photographs, essays or stories. I've lived in countries all around the globe but have finally come to rest in Mexico, where I've lived since 2001. My books may be found on Amazon in Kindle and print format, my art in local Ajijic galleries. Hope to see you at my blog.

26 thoughts on “Fine Fabric

  1. lynnstrough

    What a beautiful musing on life! They must weave some magic into those sarongs in Bali, as I, too, have one I bought years and years ago, have carried around the world with me (a grown-up version of a childhood “blankie,” used for all of those things you mention), and still have it here with me now, though the fabric is not nearly as lovely as yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lifelessons Post author

      They are 9 months old now. I haven’t seen them for 2 months as I’ve been at the beach. Driving home tomorrow. Annie, my 16 year old cat, came with me. The cat in the photo is Annie.


            1. Mary Francis McNinch

              Yes I’m excited and I did show the countertops and floors as well as the cabinets and wall colors. It was a little confusing, though. I will revisit as soon as the construction of our actual house progresses. a little more.

              Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.