Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Summon a congress of angels dressed in riot gear

"Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises." - Elizabeth Zimmermann

Today is the day that I've been waiting for, that so many of us have been waiting for. Election day here in the States. A chance for a new start. A desperately-needed change in the direction of our country -- bettering its relations with the rest of the world and resolving the war in Iraq; tackling the strangling debt wrought by 8 years of W; improving our economic situation and implementing a more sensible tax structure; reducing our collective footprint on the earth and committing to substantive, comprehensive alternative energy plans; bettering public education; closing the gap toward equality for persons with disabilities and who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender. Wow. All priorities. So much to do. But so much for which to be hopeful.

I've been knitting on through all of the divisive campaigning. Today it ends and we choose the leadership to take us forward for the next four (eight?) years.

I've voted and now, I'm channeling EZ in anticipation of the returns this evening. How about you?

"Summon a congress of angels dressed in riot gear.
We've got a serious situation down here."
- Ani DiFranco

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I just have this secret hope.

That's it, I'm clearing the cobwebs. After nine months without update, I'm suddenly and strongly compelled to knit-blog on this rainy, relaxed evening. (I wonder, can "knit-blog" be used as a verb? Well, I suppose I just did.) What was it I said I wanted this blog to be? With due credit to Ms. Woolf, of course: "...So elastic that it will embrace anything, solemn, slight or beautiful that comes into my mind."

It's been a very intense whirlwind of a year. It's gone by with such speed, I just cannot believe that we've put another academic year on the books. I'm fast approaching my first anniversary at my job -- which has been, far and away, the single biggest factor keeping me away from my needles and from blogging. My nephews (all four!) are growing like weeds; the youngest turned one last month! My sister and brother-in-law have moved back to the area, and it's wonderful to have them nearby once again. Plans are in place for some more home remodeling. The Garden v. 2.0 is well on its way, and I have much ambition for it this year.

Perhaps biggest of all... in March, I happily became the mama of a darling rescue puppy! Maris is the ten month old, 67-pound, half-chocolate lab/half-weimaraner sweetheart that a friend of mine found abandoned in a shopping center parking lot. I knew she was meant to be part of our family the moment I met her. Just look at this face:

Well, I could keep gushing on about how sweet and charming and funny she is, but I'll stop at gorgeous. ;)

I've been knitting, of course, in the space since my last post. Even when I'm exhausted from keeping marathon hours in my office, the knitting blogs I read and the phenomenon that is Ravelry have been plentiful sources of inspiration. There never seems to be any shortage of wonderful things to make and think about. I wish there were more hours in the day...

"Sometimes all we do is cope."

When things like the Burmese cyclone hit on the world stage, wiping out tens of thousands of people in a blink and leaving millions more in the wake of devastation, it never fails that a wave of guilt hits me. I get that queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach reminding me again just how grossly ungrateful, startlingly protected and extravagantly spoiled I am -- that I'm not pulling my weight. Then such magnificent tragedy is followed by the Chinese earthquake just days later...

I've been trying to wrap my head around how to respond to all this assaulting news for days. I was in a particularly reflective mood on my commute home yesterday when I caught a segment on NPR's All Things Considered which really turned my head. The piece profiles a musician/artist named Meredith Monk. Hearing it and later contemplating what I'd heard made me feel increasingly relaxed and centered -- so much so that I want to share it with as many people as I can. Please take six and a half minutes to listen to this.

Monk speaking about her latest work, the CD aptly entitled Impermanence:
"How do you convey a sense of change? How do you convey that everything in our lives, everything is constantly changing? And that one can not hold onto anything? You know, and certainly the impulse was coming from the sense of the preciousness of life and that every moment is only, is the only moment that we have."

Certainly, there is much to be done to ease the suffering of the people affected by these events, but a little regrouping as I listened to the beautifully haunting "Mieke's Melody #5" was just what I needed in the moment. I hope you find it worthwhile, too.

Well, so, hello again. I'm glad to be back at this. I'll return with a proper update and some knitterly pictures later this week!

"I just have this secret hope
Sometimes all we do is cope
Somewhere on the steepest slope
There's an endless rope
And nobody's crying."

- Patty Griffin, "Nobody's Crying" (1000 Kisses)