Needles and stuff to get through

I feel slightly in awe of the amount of stuff I have to do today.

I stand respectfully at the bottom of the mountain gazing up at its peak disappearing majestically into the clouds.

It makes Mount Fuji look like a pimple.

Therefore despite your inevitably bitter disappointment all I shall be doing today is telling you about needles.

See below.


365 366 Day 60 February 29th
 (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, see here)

I don’t know how this came about but I have acquired quite a quantity of needles over the passing years.

I think a surge in needle uptake occurred when I married Bernard.  His house at that time was like a shrine to his deceased wife Anne.  All her stuff was still there just as it always had been.  He spent a considerable proportion of the short while he and I were together before his death coming to terms with the end of the era of Anne and the beginning of the era of me, and sorting through her things.  This was good news for me because at first all I had was two drawers and half a cupboard, as Anne’s possessions occupied the rest of the space Bernard’s stuff left over.

As well as being a prolific artist, Annie made all her own clothes and had a work basket full of handy implements – a leather punch, a darning mushroom, a skein of sock yarn, a huge curved needle for stitching leather, a metal thing for determining the size of unmarked knitting needles; all kind of useful items.  And she had a lot of cottons and needles.

It was hard for Bernard to just get rid of anything that had belonged to his Annie, and easier to entrust it to me.  Nobody who knows my living habits would bother entrusting me with any heirloom, but occasionally people use me as a kind of alternative recycling bin – the soft version of throwing something away.

I think these needles are the last of Annie’s.  And I think the ones in the red card may have been given to me on one of the occasions when I officiated at a Chinese funeral. That was interesting.

A few years ago I came across a Japanese prayer to/for needles no longer wanted/useable and now to be laid to rest.  I found the prayer online but the person who put it there found it at a Shinto shrine.  It originates from a special Shinto festival that includes a memorial service for old needles (someone has blogged about this here).  I suppose this is disrespectful of me, so if you are into Shinto please forgive me, but it made me laugh a lot (despite its obviously considerable insight), because to my English mind it is so alien and unexpected.  It went like this:
Japanese Song of Gratitude to Needles
Hari kuy­õ, hari kuyõ
Thanks to you, O needles
We can lead a happy life
Thank you needles.
Let us all pray to the needles forever
Needles, needles, needles

You have to admit, there is something in it!  Where would we be without them?  So in parting from these needles that served both me and Annie well, I bow in reverence.  I wave to Annie on her Further Shore reunited with Bernard, and I send these needles on down the river of life as if they were a votive candle on the Ganges.  Cheerio!


Regarding the image of Mount Fuji at the top of this page:
The copyright holder of this file, Adam Cuerden, allows anyone to use it for any purpose provided that the copyright holder is properly attributed.  Redistribution, derivative work, commercial use and all other use is permitted.  Attribution: Adam Cuerden.