Fire in the Rain: Sewing In The Time Of Coronavirus

May 7, 2020 at 4:44 am 2 comments

The Asian American Documentary Network, aka A-doc, just launched a new series of short clips as part of its Storytelling Initiative, with my clip, Sewing In The Time of Coronavirus, its first featured microdoc. This little short explains how I’ve been spending my time since the shelter-in-place order in California took place almost two months ago.

 

Since mid-March I’ve been sewing masks with a sewing circle called the Auntie Sewing Squad, started as a facebook group by performance artist Kristina Wong. Around that time we were both noodling around with the idea of sewing cloth facemasks and when Kristina started the group we had about a dozen members. Fast forward to now and the squad now has more than 500 all-volunteer members. We make masks for frontliners including hospital workers, grocery workers, farm workers, delivery people, nursing home staff and patients, and anyone else who doesn’t have the means or access to get facemasks and who are working in risky situations. Lately we’ve been sending a lot of masks (more than 1500 a week) to Native American tribes such as Navaho Nation (which has been very hard hit in part because they don’t always have access to running water for hand-washing and so forth), Zuni, Blackfeet, Round Valley and other tribes.

Neutrals

I’ve made about 125 masks since I started, but some Aunties in the group have made more than 500 each. Some of them have high-powered sergers or industrial machines but most of us are using the family Singer or Kenmore to crank out our masks.

Jewel tones

Even though it’s a lot of work (I can make about 3-4 masks an hour), it’s for a good cause so I’m happy to do it. And other people have been very supportive, too. Several people sent me a bunch of lanyards and at one point I think I had about 300 of them floating around my house before I disbursed them to other sewists. Other people have donated their fabric stash. And I’m eaten a sick amount of donated cookies, lemon bars, marmalade, and other treats that folks have given out to support those of us sewing.

Fury

Sewing masks has been a positive way to deal with my ongoing fury at the Trump administration’s botched response to the coronavirus pandemic. Last week I had a sore throat for several days and I was worried I’d gotten COVID19. But I was able to get a test and it came up negative, since I’m one of the lucky people in this country with good healthcare. I’m trying to share my privilege with others who aren’t as lucky as I am so that we can all get through this epidemic, and making masks is a means to do that.

Ten with tails

If you’re looking for a way to support our efforts here’s how you can help out:

  • fabric donations (100% woven lightweight cotton preferred)
  • sewing machine loan or donation
  • cutting fabric
  • conference and film festival lanyards
  • making tasty snacks and meals. especially seeking in Northern California, though we have Aunties all over the US
  • fresh fruits & veggies from your garden
  • veggie starts to plant
  • filthy lucre (venmo givekristinawongmoney for postage and sewing supplies and gayleisa for food and snack supplies)

contact: vsoe@sfsu.edu

BONUS: Here’s the song this post is named after, by Jung Yonghwa. It’s all about maintaining hope in times of despair. I wrote more about it here.

Lyrics (translated from Japanese; original English in italics)

We are the fire in the rain

(Fire in the rain)

In my eyes Even now, sad news in one corner of the world

The rain won’t stop. The blue tears fall from my eyes

 

Tell me what can I do I don’t know why I was born

How much? I don’t know why

A polka-dot pattern on the window. Towards the other side of the cloud

 

We ’re the fire in the rain

Singing to the earth. Breathing life

Burning steps. The fiesta never ends

 

When I ’m taking you higher I set your heart on fire

When I ’m taking you higher I set your heart on fire

 

In your arms Even if you lose everything

A flower that stays quietly in your heart

 

Tell me what can I do. I don’t know why I was born

How much I don’t know why

An umbrella in the palm of your hand

 

We ’re the fire in the rain

Singing to the earth. Breathing life

Burning steps. The fiesta never ends

 

(When I ’m taking you higher) You should make a move

Because you live only once

(I set your heart on fire) You should catch a wave

Everything will go well

(When I ’m taking you higher) An indelible hope. Connected thoughts

(I set your heart on fire) The answer is: No one knows

 

Someday even if the storm that swallows everything. Even if the light does not reach

Somewhere let’s light up the heart, let’s go together, beyond the night sky

 

We ’re the fire in the rain

It’s not a miracle, go to fate (Go the way that you believe)

Stars in the sky Let me keep on burning

A fiery dance that never ends fiesta

 

When I ’m taking you higher (I ’m taking you higher)

I set your heart on fire (I set your heart on fire)

When I ’m taking you higher (Yeah um)

I set your heart on fire (It never ends fiesta)

When I ’m taking you higher It never ends fiesta

NOTE: Yonghwa’s former bandmate Lee Jonghyun’s nickname was “Burning.” He’s left the group following a series of controversies so this may be Yonghwa’s final tribute to CNBLUE’s guitarist of ten years.

Entry filed under: auntie sewing squad, COVID19, sewing in the time of coronavirus. Tags: , , , , .

The Endless Melody: Jung Yonghwa’s Feel the Y’s City album review Don’t Say Goodbye: Favorite CNBLUE live performances

2 Comments Add your own

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


supported by

Blog Stats

  • 447,393 hits

Archives

tweetorama

  • RT @joncoopertweets: Who else managed to live their entire lives without needing to own an assault rifle? ✋ 5 hours ago
  • RT @MarieMyungOkLee: maybe we should call is **mass murder** instead of mass shooting? sounds like the gun is guilty not the person-- and… 5 hours ago
  • RT @erinhahn_author: What they don’t tell you is teachers are told in training that they have to lock out any of their students who are out… 12 hours ago
  • RT @BNONews: First victims identified in Texas school shooting: - Xavier Lopez, 10 - Nevaeh Bravo - Irma Garcia, teacher - Eva Mireles, te… 14 hours ago
  • RT @hyunsuinseoul: I’m South Korean and have a few friends from Europe and literally don’t know a single working class individual from a de… 14 hours ago
  • RT @magicbeans: I just watched an elderly couple watch the video of Steve Kerr and the woman yelled at the end “who’s our senator?!” She’s… 14 hours ago
  • RT @Celeste_pewter: I have this conversation with some of you a lot, but tonight's the night I'm really asking: Consider running for offi… 14 hours ago
  • RT @AliceAvizandum: Today’s school shooter bought his rifles from this company 14 hours ago
  • RT @espn_macmahon: Steve Kerr: “When are we going to do something? I’m so tired of coming up here offering condolences to the devastated fa… 18 hours ago
  • RT @heatherscope: Sen. Murphy: “Spare me the bullshit about mental illness. “We don't have any more mental illness than any other country… 18 hours ago
  • RT @WajahatAli: Steve Kerr, coach of the Warriors. I need this fire from Democratic leaders. 18 hours ago
  • RT @kylegriffin1: NBC News projects: Stacey Abrams wins the Georgia governor's Democratic primary race. @NBCNews 18 hours ago
  • RT @NotoriousOHM: A furious, emotional and fed up Steve Kerr pleaded with senators to do something about the mass shootings. https://t.co/f… 18 hours ago
  • RT @MSNBC: "Enough is enough," VP Harris says, discussing the Texas school shooting that killed 14 children and 1 teacher. Harris added, "a… 18 hours ago
  • This is the only time I'm RTing anything about Heard/Depp. twitter.com/NBedera/status… 19 hours ago

%d bloggers like this: