Ah, Monet – the go-to artist for the ocularly-challenged. I love Monet; everything is fuzzy and uncertain, just like life. I like Turner too; these are my people!
Rarasaur’s latest Prompt for the Promptless introduces us to the phrase “a total Monet.”
“A total Monet” is an expression used to describe someone or something that looks good from far away, but up close is a total mess.
My mother always knitted. She knitted my jumpers when I was little, right up until I started secondary school, when you had to wear school uniform and contend with raging hormones that required you to fit in by wearing something more fashionable. She knitted her own jumpers after that, rather sadly, but understanding a girl’s need to be accepted. I suspect in fact it was a relief as she had also gone back to work and had little time and my treason meant she could concentrate on her embroidery.
Still, she always had some knitting in progress and as time went by, and she began her slide into senility, this at least did not change. She moved into sheltered housing near where we lived and started knitting granny stripes, sewed them into small blankets for keeping old ladies’ knees warm, and gave them to the Age UK charity shop where they became a local hit. As time went on and dementia ate her brain she still knitted; she still does, although now without knowing what she is knitting any more.
I was clearing out some of her cupboards a while ago and discovered a haul of knitted strips which she had never sewn up, so I decided that as she had made the effort to knit them I would make the effort to sew them. I took them all into my living room to sort out and emptied them from their bags into a big heap on the floor, anticipating an enjoyable hour of choosing colours to put together. It was as if the 1960s had landed in my living room. There was every kind of colour rubbing shoulders with every other, all just being loud and happy and a bit manic, wanting to provide love and hugs through woollen embraces.
Oh my, oh my! It soon turned out that dementia had eaten her brain earlier than I had realised. The stripes of knitting, so eager and cheerful and bright, were horrendously muddled, all in different lengths, and different weights of wool. In some places she had run out of wool mid-row and joined in wool of an entirely new colour and weight there and then. Piecing them together took me and Sigoth an entire morning, by which time we had turned an acre of knitting into six or seven sets of approximately similar sized strips to be sewn up.
The mad kaleidoscope of woollen strips seemed a perfect reflection of her poor, muddled head. I’m sorry to say the analogy ends there. I have restored some order to the wool; her head is beyond us all, a total Monet in its own right.
She may have lacked the ability to do the deed, but her intention was good and kind. Perhaps that is what matters most.