This one was one of my mom’s favorites, the one she often chose when she was going out somewhere. Even in her last year when she was having some trouble getting around, it was the sweater of choice, the one her wonderful caregiver Meifang would help her into so that we could all go out for dim sum.
We all need a sweater like this sometimes: colorful, warm, something that readies us to greet the world outside. And totally washable (cotton), that can be worn over and over again.
In addition to a riotous and yet tasteful pattern of checks and flowers in pink, green, deeper purple, blue, and orange, this one has silver buttons with embossed flowers. These would have fascinated me as a child; one of my favorite pastimes at a very young age (maybe four or five or six?) was sitting on my parents’ bed playing with a box of buttons that my mother kept for sewing. I would look at them (so many different sizes, shapes, styles!), admire their color and luster (pearlescent, metal, plastic, cloth-covered), and sort them into rows and groups.
Perhaps this was for me the early-sixties version of Pokemon cards? But even better, like having the creatures themselves in front of me, being able to touch their circles and squares, press my fingers into their tiny holes, feel each shiny bejeweled surface.
Maybe this is why I can spend a lot of time in office supply stores, just imagining how I would sort and arrange my desk. And maybe this is why I find a certain fascination in endlessly working and reworking skating edges and turns, arranging and rearranging them into circles, lobes, and patterns.
Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo. So little time, so much to know.