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Essays by Karen Anderson: Blue Rug

Illustration by Kacie Brown

Beneath my dining room table is a big rug in many shades of blue. It’s hand-made with thick cotton yarn which gives it a delicious texture—for both eye and foot, especially a bare foot. I commissioned a good friend to weave this rug for me over 25 years ago.

You’d never know it. The colors are bright and the shape true. And every time I wash it, I’m stunned by how handsome it looks—better than new for having a kind of lived-on look, softer and warmer.

The ultimate test has come with my current cat who has made of this rug a scratchpad and hideout—rolling up in a corner of it. Big Blue is unfazed and unfrayed.

Whatever I paid for this rug—and it seemed extravagant at the time—has been repaid in countless ways. So beautiful and durable, it gives me pleasure every day. More than pleasure, it reminds me of my friend and her remarkable skill.

When I think of things I’ve made—all the pots of soup and these weekly essays—they seem pretty ephemeral by comparison. How grand it would be to create something—to be someone—as lovely and sturdy and useful as the blue rug.

Karen Anderson contributes "Essays by Karen Anderson" to Interlochen Public Radio.