Sunday, April 1, 2012


I see all the beautiful pisanki on posted by fellow Poles on Facebook.  I know that this is part of my heritage, yet not.  I've never made them or lived with them in the house. 

My aunt had a crystal basket with about six of them in it displayed in her living room all year, sitting beside a lamp on top of a crocheted doily.  I thought they were so beautiful and intricate in their designs.  But, I never learned how to make them.

In college, every year there was a "Slavic Festival" at the University.  I often worked a booth or explained folk art, mostly things that we had collected in our travels.  One year, I bought a kit to make pisanki.  I never used it.  It was one of few things stolen in a break in at my parent's home.  I wonder why someone would break in to steal a pisanki kit.  Even now, they start at less than fifteen dollars on Amazon.  It really doesn't seem like something most people would think of taking.  Yet it was taken.

My mother was never into domestic activities.  She never made pisanki or taught me to make them.  I know that she crocheted tablecloths, but mostly before I was born.  She was too busy afterwards, caring for me and working for her causes.  By the time I was ten, I was doing much of the cooking at home.  I learned to read recipes, so taught myself to make many of the dishes I make.

As an adult, I've become like my mother, too busy with work and family and my causes to make such beautiful works of art.  Instead of cooking traditional food, I too often simply thaw something out and heat it.  But, every once in a while, I think about such things and wish that my life was less hurried and I had the time to enjoy more of the beauty of life.

This year, again, seeing the pisanki photos posted makes me remember this.  I would like to be able to share this with my children.  I looked at the kits on Amazon, yet know that I won't have time to order a kit and make them before Easter.  And, I have to finish preparing a talk for a professional meeting in a couple weeks.  

I also realize that I don't have the artistic ability to make such beautiful works of art.  But maybe someday I'll try.  For now, I simply ordered some wooden eggs painted to look like pisanki.

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