While unpacking, I came across another handmade item from my hopeless chest: a little quilt I made for the baby I'd always wanted but never had.
I made this unfinished blanket back in early nineties when I was still hopeful about having a family. At that point in my life, my enormous fabric stash barely fit in a walk-in closet so cobbling together the rainbow of colors wasn't difficult. I envisioned this design myself and cut the original pieces out of newspaper until I had the exact size and shape I wanted. My work friend, an avid quilter, was helpful and encouraging, too. Looking at it now, I love the design. I'd choose a different border fabric; it looks very dated to me, but the rest of it is fresh and wonderful.
My original idea was to hand-embroider part of an e.e. cummings poem on the border. It would read: "maybe god is a child's hand very carefully bringing to you and me and quite without crushing the papery weightless diminutive world." Cummings' version had all sorts of stops and starts and strange punctuation, of course, but I believed this baby quilt would benefit from a more straightforward message. I was right.
As you can see, I never finished the quilt - ironic and symbolic considering I always wanted a child. I still do, even though this possibility is now long past. My dream went unfulfilled and my baby quilt did, too. How sad and poignant.
This is not the only infant item in my hopeless chest. Somewhere around here there are baby hat and mittens I knitted, too. When I find them, I'll share them with you.
They say it's never too late to have a happy childhood. Is it too late to have a hopeful chest? And if the answer is no, what belongs in mine?