blogitto ergo sum

October 31, 2011

#199 – peace embroidering

Filed under: life matters,on the road,see, absorb, enjoy — yael [ya-el] wagner @ 01:21
Tags: , ,

Sausalito, Oct. 30, 11

 Saturday afternoon, Sausalito.  We did few galleries, a couple of gift shops, inspected lots of bead-based jewelry, had a great lunch @ Angelino, sealed it with the usual lattes and Cookies @ Il Piccolo Cafe Specialita Italiane.  I ignore all the negative yelping this place receives.  All I ever had here was lattes, cookies and attitude.  All met expectations.  Maybe one of these days I’ll try their food.

Later, Edna and I sit on a bench, enjoying an amazing day.  Edna is to teach me few stitches to enrich my knowledge of one stitch only.  I watch and practice stitch #1, watch and practice stitch #2…  Eran is either kindling or absorbing sun, and I learn.  Practice makes perfect.

As I struggle with the canvas and the needle, I notice the Muslim grandma who slows to a stop as she observes us.  One grandson [3 months] is asleep in his trolley, another [7 YO] is watching us with open curiosity.  I dare “body shuff?” I ask w/my non-existing Arabic [want see?].  granny was just waiting for this invitation.  She watches my struggle.  I can tell she is not happy with my performance.  Do you want to sit down” i ask as my manners catch on.  “yes!” is the prompt answer.  I move our bags to the grass and granny sits down.  Sleeping grandson is left to sleep; senior grandchild is observing with keen attention.

From nowhere the question pops out of my mouth, “do you want to stitch,” I ask granny.  “Yes!”

There’s an advantage to the middle-eastern directness.  You know what one wants.  I hand over the canvas, and Edna, grandson and I concentrate watching.  I try to a “normal” conversation.

“Where are you from?”


“We are from Israel.”

“I was born in Haifa.”

“I was born in Haifa too,” Edna injects.

“Where in Haifa, downtown,” my inquiring self wants to know.

“I don’t know, I was 6 YO when we left.”  I decide not to ask in what year.  I’m trying to calculate in my head.  How old is granny?  Did they leave in 1948?  Earlier?

Meanwhile she is stitching.

This is when we notice the son-on-law who is watching us from the next bench over.  More smiles are exchanged.  My embroidery practice exercise becomes an act of peace.

“You must be the daughter,” I turn to the younger woman who joins us with yet another grandson.  She is laughing as she takes in the scene.  We are all laughing.  “Yes, she wants a granddaughter.  She has no one to teach” says the daughter in a matter of an apology to us and more so to her mom.

Grandson #2 is 3.5 YO he is willing to admit as he tries to show it with his fingers.  We run into difficulties how to represent the half year without breaking a finger in two.

We don’t have coffee or food to share, and reluctantly granny gets up. And they walk away.  Edna inspects the stitches and I am smiling, running the scene in my head.  Who in Israel would picnic without coffee I wonder.  Nobody.

We didn’t exchange phone numbers; heck, we don’t even know each other’s name.  And yet, in this Saturday afternoon sun, we shared great moments of apolitical peace.

Now I’ll have to finish this practice canvas for the symbolic value if nothing else.

Not quite like this. Source:



  1. liked it a lot short, with a message and to the point.

    Comment by Ruth — October 31, 2011 @ 04:54 | Reply

  2. Sweet. Nice start for a Monday morning.

    Comment by Monica — October 31, 2011 @ 07:53 | Reply

    • we were happily smiling, a bit amused in a good way, for the rest of the day.


      Comment by yael [ya-el] wagner — October 31, 2011 @ 08:03 | Reply

  3. Sounds like the Yael I know!

    But, I have to as.Which are the stitches that she did?

    Comment by Paul Klebaur (@ruabelk) — October 24, 2012 @ 04:33 | Reply

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