That prams and art are not mutually exclusive.

Reading with scissors

I read the newspaper with scissors.

Growing up we only ever had two pairs of scissors: one set in the kitchen drawer for paper, which mum also used to snip bacon. The other pair lived in mum’s sewing basket for fabric. The rule was put things back where you found them, but the scissors and the pens always made their way to my room. Dad’s tracing paper, his fine liners, drawing board and ruler. My sister’s Lettering Book Companion. The World Book Encyclopaedias, often N, sometimes A. I collected snippets, traced letters and copied text. Drawing, never finishing anything I began, tracing the world and never managing to contain it. Mum just wanted me to finish and put it away, put the scissors back where I found them, and it always felt too early, I wasn’t finished, nothing I rendered was ever as I imagined in my head.

Mum never saw what I was trying to do, only the mess it made. I wanted to contain the world, rather than have it contain me.

Now I own more pairs of scissors than shoes.
Edenland's Fresh Horses Brigade

15 Responses to “Reading with scissors”

  1. mumspeak

    I love your sentence ” I wanted to contain the world, rather than have it contain me”. That rocks.

  2. Barbara

    I keep scissors in every room in the house, plus special purpose pairs (sewing, knitting, secaturs, kitchen shears). Life is too short to spend it looking for scissors.

  3. Kim H

    Hahaha! I’m the same. I have scissors everywhere. I can’t stand not being able to get my hand on a pair of scissors. I have my mums sewing scissors from 1989 that my Dad and brothers and sisters always tell me I stole but I didn’t. Mum gave them to me. She died in 1990 so it will always be a debate in our family but I know the truth of those scissors. LOL

  4. sarahtsib

    Ive missed you. You and your divine words. I’m glad you have more scissors, I wa the sister with the lettering companion x

  5. edenland

    Oh there’s so much in here. So much.

    And all day I’m going to think of the way my grandmother snipped bacon.

  6. MultipleMum

    You are back!? I popped to Kymmie’s and saw you on her blog roll. Must get you back on mine. I read with a pen and circle and cross and tick and stab. Another stellar post, Karen. x

  7. Lucy

    How funny. Our mothers shared the same approach. I always am surprised, these days, that I have plenty of pairs of scissors to hand.


  8. Gill

    I guess making a mess is part of the process. I love that you now have more scissors than shoes and i also love how you went about this post. I’ve been lurking about this linky- it’s an awesome one. I’m tempted to join in but can’t get the words out. Bloggers’s block?

    Love your work, as always, Karen. X

  9. Stella Orbit (@stellaorbit)

    I was never allowed to touch the scissors. Now I have some many pairs it is mostly ridiculous.
    You, me dear, are much larger than the world. It’s not large enough to contain you. xo

  10. Deb @ Bright and Precious

    Karen! I can’t believe I only just discovered this! – so lovely to read your BEAUTIFUL writing once again. I’ve missed it. You are the queen of insight and using just the right amount of words, and just the right ones too. Your self-description is stunning. x

  11. Luna

    I read the newspaper with scissors too. It’s annoying reading through pages only to get up and find the scissors and then go back to where you left off and become distracted by another article/snippet. My favourite for paper/crafts is Fiskars which wasn’t easy to find in AUS – too sharp for my children to handle.

    Saw your comment on Maxabella loves.


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