Dangerous Compassions


Hello, how are you doing?  I wanted to update you about pillows.  I sewed a pillow case for one of the square pillow forms I was given by a stranger in Ojai.  Cute and cheerful, eh?


I like the strawberries and cherries, the bright pink, even the slightly weird texture to the fabric.  You know I’m a strawberry queen.

I used to think pillows were silly.  I needed one only.  I’m softening my stance.  When I sleep, I put this pillow between my knees.  It helps me feel less joint pain.  It’s cozy and good for my health!

Also I made a pillow case for one of the other pillow forms, for my friend.  It’s daisy print fabric that’s very cheerful also.  But I forgot to photograph it because I was so excited to give it to my friend.  As soon as I finished it, I gave it to her–it was quick.

My friend liked it.  She hugged it and smiled.  She’s the one who wrote this cool sentence on the kitchen chalkboard.

buckwheat hulls

Next I want to make a buckwheat hull pillow, which is exciting, with the buckwheat hulls I was given by a stranger in Ojai.  That one will be smaller and not just a pillowcase.  I need to do the stitches more tight, so the buckwheat hulls won’t pass through the gaps.

I’m thinking I will go once around loosely, then go around again more tightly.  I don’t have pins, and it can be hard to keep the fabric in the right place doing it by hand, since I don’t have or like sewing machines.

Long ago I bought a special buckwheat hull pillow at a Japanese import shop in the Bay Area.  That store had zafus and different sizes of buckwheat hull pillows.  The one I bought was expensive (for me) and gorgeous with lovely colors I associate with Japanese fabric.  So I’m happy I can make something special and valuable too.

At first I wrote “Japanese important shop.”  I type important way more than import, so many hands made a mistake.  My hands really like pillows.


Right now Ming is swimming in our friend’s pool.  I’m writing under a porch umbrella, our friend is painting in a back room, and her husband was fixing something on the car, last I knew.

The husband was complaining to Ming that his screwdriver was hot from being in the car.  Ming offered him some gloves, as Ming has work gloves in the trunk of our car.  The husband said no.

architecture school

“Are you hurting, that you couldn’t finish architecture school?” I just asked Ming as he walked around in the pool.

“No,” he said.

“You’ve only brought it up about 20 times,” I said.

He laughed.  Probably it’s been more than 20 times I’ve heard him bring it up, over the past 11 years.

“Do you want to finish architecture school?” I asked.

“No,” he said.

“I would help you,” I said.  In one second, so much work flashed before my eyes.  Many classes at the same time, essays, projects, group projects, difficult teachers, struggles with Disabled Student Services, deadlines, stress, pain.

“No,” he said.

“We could have our own architecture school of two.  I would design a building of fire with you!” I said.  We laughed.

“Geography is where it’s at,” he said.

I smiled and gave him the thumbs up.


“It comes up when I’m being evaluated,” he said.

“Architecture school?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said.

“You mean it comes up in conversation, or it comes up in your soul?” I asked.  I made a gesture of soul upheaval.

“In conversation,” he said.  “I have the feeling it helps people understand me better.”

He did not become a rich architect living in a vast winery.  He has me instead, so he’s rich in another way.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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