First, Toni Morrison’s Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination.It’s too academic to be my favorite of Morrison’s books — The Bluest Eye is the one I love best.By this point in my life I’ve heard the girls laugh. I realized what the book could teach me one night, many years ago, after attending a New Year’s party at the Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. It is a kind of madness: to have everything, now, and still feel something is missing. But if I’ve learned anything in my life, it’s that surfaces often deceive.
First, Toni Morrison’s Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination.
I set out a collection of African folktales, though none sound to me like the tales I heard as a small child.
Finally, I set out my field guides, my manuals for decoding American life.
I cling to the belief that if I can just find the right arrangement of the pieces of my life — if I can take all the haphazard beads and string them together — I can see my life as beautiful, coherent, whole. He’s wearing a T-shirt that says, "I SURVIVED BASKETBALL CAMP." I lay out the Chicago State ID card I’d gotten with my mother, the birthday present she recently purchased for me — a little mirror from her neighborhood Dollar Store, pre-inscribed with a poem to a daughter: I set out a museum handbook on Rwandan basket weaving next to the only two snapshots in existence of me as a child in Butare.
Sometimes, in my apartment, I line the objects up and look at them. When she gave me the necklace she cried, and I felt loved. In one, I’m at my aunt’s wedding, in a white dress.
This post is the third in my series of posts on knitting for weddings, and features a selection of patterns for purses and gloves for the bride.
(You can see the other posts on knitting for weddings here.) Let's look at the purses first.First is The Little Prince, the first book I ever read in English.Next to it is Philip Gourevitch’s We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families. I filled up the first 135 pages with little blue stickies and pink stickies.The purse above is the Heirloom Bridal Bag, and the pattern is available for £3.00(GBP).The pattern for this simple little beaded bag is available for free.But Gourevitch understood the problem: History is dangerous. I look at the photo and imagine all the dead bodies on the surface of the water.The cover photo shows an empty chair on the edge of a lake. I set out Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, for its magic; Elie Wiesel’s Night, because, to me, it’s holy and life-sustaining and I had once touched the man in the flesh and felt greatly comforted to know he was alive, old but alive.It may take some planning to manage both a bouquet and a purse on your wedding day, but you may want to do it anyway, because you will likely want to freshen your makeup and to have some tissues handy.(Or, if you have second thoughts, bus fare.) The purses here may be used as an evening bag after the wedding, or perhaps as a handy sachet for the bride's dresser drawer.But is the most important to me since in it Morrison breaks down how white American stories depend on certain assumptions about black characters.It reminds me not to fall into the trap of being who you think I am. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, my guide to understanding Kenilworth, Yale, status in America. To me, everybody, almost everywhere, appeared to be in costume.