>> Friday, May 27, 2011
It seems only appropriate to lead off with her question, "Why does a little bit of lint in a sewing machine cause so many problems?" I must confess that when I started sewing, I noticed lint but didn't realize how many problems it caused. It wasn't until I quilted this quilt, which was backed with red fleece, that I discovered the ills of lint. Namely, that a tiny red sweater lived under the machine's throatplate and liked to tease the bobbin. Indeed, I think the answer to this question is that lint is a tease, and particularly likes to scoff at machinery, bobbins, and humans. This web of dust produces tangles galore, traffic jams, broken needles, and general chaos. When I think more charitably about lint, I would suggest that it causes so many problems in order to ensure we humans are paying attention, thinking and doing with intention. But most of the time I lack that charity and just swear at the lint. I mean, it is a tease.
I think the most popular question was something to the effect of "What am I researching?" The short, formal answer is that I study religion and state. But that doesn't really tell you what I'm doing, does it? The longer, perhaps more interesting answer, is that I'm researching and writing a dissertation on American military chaplains from World War I through Vietnam. I examine how the chaplaincy has evolved in order to explore how the state manages religion and negotiates with, between, and among religious groups. I can talk about this for a very long time, but I think that's sufficient for now. I will add, however, that if you have friends or relatives who were military chaplains in this time period, I would love to talk to them. Or if you have letters or diaries or pictures or anything of the like, I would love to see those, so be in touch.
And to keep it light, Leanne asked "Would you rather buy fabric or shoes?" Fabric, no question about it.
Have a wonderful weekend, and more q&a to come!