Hmm . . . let’s think about what the title could possibly mean. What should we avoid doing in the dark? (walking through places where snakes hide, picking out paint colors outside for your house, hunting little black calves in the dark, – go ahead, add your own thoughts)
There are many teachings imparted by others that do not become learnings because they don’t really make sense during the lesson. Many things my piano teacher, Mrs. Hardy, told me during my years with her made absolutely no sense at that time. Years later, while working on a difficult song or teaching my own students, her words finally became learnings.
When training to become a teacher, my professors sometimes suggested means for handling classroom incidents. I often said, “I’ll never do that.” Later, in time of classroom peril, I understood what the professor said and learned by doing. Yesterday, while trying to sew a housedress, I finally understood one of my mother’s teachings.
Never sew on black after sundown. At the time she said this, I thought that was one of the sillier things she had imparted. Now, some 30 years later, I finally get it. I took yesterday afternoon and evening off from jewelry design to make a navy blue print housedress. It was a simple pattern that I had made once before. Unfortunately, some of the directions were missing, but being a resourceful woman, I figured I could wing it. At ten PM last night I finished all the hand work and the dress was neat and tidy. I had a feeling that I really shouldn’t try it on before retiring, but I just had to. I put it on and . . . well, for heaven’s sakes . . . I had sewn the yokes on backwards. The front yoke was on the back of the dress and the back yoke was on the front, I tried to convince myself that it was OK; stood in different postures to see if it would work; and then realized it just had to be redone. I knew I should not rip out the stitching when I was already weary, but that didn’t stop me. That’s when I finally understood what Mother had told me. “Don’t work on dark colors after the sun goes down.” I couldn’t even see those little dark stitches on that dark print fabric. I made a stab at it, but was mostly just left with holes in the fabric. Finally, shortly after the witching hour, I gave up.
With new resolve, I tackled the dark fabric in the sunlight this morning and am happy to report that all is well (except for my confidence). Then I remembered another teaching. “Always read the directions carefully when sewing.” I guess my mother was right about that one too. Next time, I’m going to purchase light colored fabric so I can do it after sundown.