It is the end of an another month and I have been taking stock. So far I have made 207 blocks and read 174 pages. Its about 20% of the blocks I need to do and 27% of the pages. In order to be on track to finish by December I only need to be about 17% complete. So I am not doing too badly, or at least I wouldn’t be if I wasn’t thinking about starting the book again from the beginning just to make sure I really understand it.
I didn’t do any reading today. Did lots of cutting out though, and a good bit of machine sewing. I was doing some smaller, less complicated blocks. If there is one thing I am discovering about myself as part of this process it is that I like to be able to see results quickly.
The bit of Being and Nothingness I am reading at the moment is about reflection. Sartre suggests that philophers in the past valued reflection because it allowed them access to a moment in time i.e. Descartes ‘I think therefore I am’ gives access to the moment of thinking.
According to Sartre this is a problem because of the structure of the for-itself (which is us basically). The for-itself is only itself in the past. In the present moment the for-itself is not itself, it is possibility. Now if reflection is someone being conscious of themselves then reflection can only access the past, because the person is not themself in the present. That kind of makes sense, in a twisted way, but I am not sure it is a huge problem. I think what the philosophers were valuing when they valued reflection was the ability to form knowledge based on reflection. Descartes ‘I think therefore I am’ was not valuable because it was reflection but because it gave a starting point upon which he could found his knowledge of the world. In this case does it really matter whether the reflection only gives us the past? Surely what matters is that it gives us something?
Only two blocks today. I didn’t do much sewing, a little by hand and a little by machine, but I did do a load of cutting out. That and some baking. I have made some delicious looking pumpkin and feta damper, and have a cheesecake in the oven which I need to go check on in a minute.
The second confession is that I have developed the rather bad habit of watching Bargain Hunt. I don’t know why I like it. I have absolutely no interest in antiques. Sometimes I think I like watching it because the guy on there is simply so dreadful. It’s not a complete waste of time I suppose since I rarely ever sit down to watch TV without some sewing in hand. Though I am very aware that I often use the sewing as an excuse for watching things which really are a complete load of rubbish.
I did finish three blocks today, and here they are.
I have been thinking today about the way I read, more particularly am I reading Sartre properly. I heard somewhere that you should always read philosophical texts twice. Once to get the general gist of the thing and the second to really understand it. I don’t know that I have time to read everything twice. I might have to make do with reading a little more thoroughly instead of trying to read it like I would a novel.
Three blocks today, all english paper pieced. I have already broken my pledge to do a 1/2 hour on the machine every day, but then I did go grocery shopping after work instead of coming straight home, that and I spent some time ploughing my way through my mortgage documentation. So I don’t feel exactly like I was wasting time.
I have been feeling very disenchanted with my sewing machine of late. Mostly I think because all the blocks I am working on are taking too long. All up, the one I finished today has taken me about 3 hours. I can make 3 of the smaller hand pieced blocks in that time. I am trying to take the emphasis off finishing and focus on enjoying the process, and just trying to keep moving forward even if it is only a little bit at a time. So I will try to work on a block for 1/2 hour a day and try not worry too much about how much I get done and whether it is enough. Maybe eventually I will start to enjoy it again.
Here is the block that took so long.
And this is the letter q that was giving me so much trouble yesterday.
And one more just because.