Ah….. The wonderful world of arts and crafts! All the colors, textures, images. All the paintings, sculptures, and yes, unfortunately, all the rug-hooking. Mrs. Falconer, Mrs. Jolly, and fellow classmates, I would like to warn you that my mother has developed an illness known as SARS- severe acute rug-hooking syndrome. It all started about ten years ago when my mother’s artistic side surfaced. She began oil-painting, which is fine, because as Pablo Picasso once said, “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” However, my mother’s pastime quickly developed into an obsession that resulted in C.O.P.D- Compulsive Oil Painting Disorder. Common symptoms of this disease include painting in a mixed media style, an addiction to oil-painting, and giving your paintings strange titles such as ‘Charm is the strength of the woman, and strength is the charm of the man,’ ‘Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker,’ and ‘P.M.S.’ My mother showed all three symptoms. For 6 years my father and I tried to break my mother of her obsessive-compulsive habit and we finally succeeded when we purchased a dog. She called him Mordas, or muzzler in English. Because her oil paints were toxic to dogs, mom was forced to give up her painting, (by then she had produced over 100 paintings!), and began the long journey to recovery from C.O.P.D.
I still remember the day my father and I felt the sweet sensation of victory, but, you must understand that my mother has a natural talent for art and her artistic nature could not be easily tamped down. Before long, she discovered a new hobby, rug-hooking. My mother aptly demonstrated all the most common symptoms of SARS. Constantly buying materials so as to make the texture of her rugs more ‘interesting,’ hooking day and night, as well as refusing to seek help in the Hooker Support Group at the hospital.
It was torture! Torture I tell you! Long Saturdays spent in malls searching for the “right” kind of wool, lectures given because of my insistent pleas of, “Let’s just get this wool and leave,” or “Come on mom! We don’t need that!” Not to mention all the long, boring visits to her friends who have all, thanks to my mom, been infected with S.A.R.S because, as you know, it’s a highly contagious illness. I wonder if buying my mom a new pet would cure her? Maybe a llama or an Emu! I’ll have to talk to dad about that…
Now, don’t take me wrong. I’m happy for my mom, but, our house looks like a spinning factory! You walk in the door and all you see is wool. You turn the corner and all you see is wool. You walk into a room and guess what you see? Wool. The tables are jam-packed with hooking supplies and our credit cards are maxed out at all the fabric stores! At least I won’t have any trouble figuring out what to get my mother for her birthday!
But, you know, I was thinking, my senses have sharpened drastically since mom first started rug-hooking. I mean, I use all five periodically. Every day I see mom’s rug-hooking, I hear her humming and muttering happily to herself interrupted, of course, by an occasional curse when something goes wrong, I smell all the burlap particles as they fly up my nose and set me to sneezing, I even taste mom’s rug-hooking occasionally when bits of wool get into my food! I also feel the soggy wool in my fingers as I wrench it from our sheepdogs’ mouths, each time swearing I can hear them thinking, Mmmmm…. Sheep
My mother is obsessed with rug-hooking. In nine short months, she has managed to hook six beautiful rugs as well as cook, clean, work, and, of course, cater to my every need. All her ideas resemble her creativity and can be compared to her previous mixed media painting. She has hooked a jazz band, a staff party, and a farmer’s market amongst others. Mom’s ingenuity amazes me and I have always wondered where my mother gets all her ideas. Eugene Delacroix once said, “What moves men of genius, or rather what inspires their work, are not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.” Or, in my mother’s case, “What moves men of genius, or rather inspires their work, are not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been rug-hooked is still not enough.”
Personally, I don’t know how my mother does it. I wouldn’t have enough patience to sit through a commercial, let alone hook for three hours! But, my mother adores it, and as long as she’s hooking, she’s not yelling at me, so, as long as I’m concerned, she can keep on hooking! So, you see Mrs. Falconer, Mrs. Jolly, and fellow classmates SARS is a very dangerous disease. But, hey! It’s a good excuse to be late for school in the mornings as my mother usually has just ‘one’ more section to finish before driving me, 45mins later, to school.