Moving forward, thinking backward

The March/April 1994 issue of PieceWork features the first installment of Linda's back-page department, "Stitches." She explores her favorite palindromes in the March/April 1997 issue.

As I write this, Interweave is in the midst of moving offices. We’ve been in the same building here on the main street of Loveland since 1990—even before PieceWork was born. If you’ve ever had to move house after several years, and if you’re any kind of packrat at all, just multiply that by several orders of magnitude and you’ll have an idea of what we’re going through here as we move a couple hundred people fifteen miles up the road.

St. Maximon shrine.

I can’t even count the number of boxes of books, yarns, files, office supplies, and so forth that are sitting around in the hallways, waiting for the movers—not to mention telephones, computers, chairs, desks, on and on. Toughest of all for me are all the tchotchkes I’ve accumulated over twenty-four years. My small shrine to the naughty Guatemalan St. Maximon, patron saint of tough deadlines. My Chinese gong that I used to strike on completion of a deadline, before it started driving people nuts. The handspun, hand-dyed, crocheted bra, neatly framed, that a former editor and I created for the shock value (you’d have to see it). Many shelves of binders of old staff picnic photographs. The piles and piles and piles of back issues of the magazine, which have been superseded by small, tidy CDs—so efficient but not so loveable. I don’t need any of this stuff to do my job. I don’t have a place for it at home, where there are already tchotchkes galore. I can’t throw it away. It’s a big problem, and moving day is only a week away.

Rather than deal with it, I have found many procrastination strategies. One has been to go through all the old issues of PieceWork for which I wrote back-page personal essays. One of my favorites focused on palindromes, those words or phrases that read the same forward as backward. Like “Madam, I’m Adam” or “Able was I ere I saw Elba.”  My own invention, which caused hoots and catcalls from editors down the hall from me, was “Knits Stink.” For today, here, with moving day looming, I’ll just say “Are we not drawn onward to a new era?”

Linda Ligon