Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Thinking about the Journey

Juno has me thinking. Juno is a thinker of depth and character, but I - well, I just skim the surface. I regret not being a particularly deep thinker; it might be useful in this time of global restlessness. Oh, I'm smart and I went to school a long time and I'm reasonably sane and I can think my way through a long, involved project (see here, but don't download the pdf; trust me, it takes forever. Or you look at this, also a pdf. Neither one has anything to do with fiber, by the way, and please pardon my showing off), but the restlessness and whining that's been infecting me for a while now - I haven't a clue. Not good at the self-analysis. Not educated in the ways of the soul and mind and heart. You get the picture.

So Juno was writing about how she wants and needs perspective and goals and intent in her fiber workings right now. Rather than pigging out on yarn and fleece, she wants PIG (perspective, intent, goals) instead. (I made up that acronym; Juno has too much class to write that, but it amuses me.)

Me, too, in my best groupie chirp.

I went to southeastern Pennsylvania this past weekend (by Amtrak, not by car; I feel virtuous) to join the rest of my family in wishing my dad a happy 80th birthday. Here's the obligatory photo of Dad, looking pensive.

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He's doing rather well for 80 - shortly after the photo, he went back outside to continue splitting up an entire elm tree by hand.

I got lots of knitting done over the four days, too, as will happen when one gathers 12 or so people ages 80 to 8 months more or less under one roof - there's lots of waiting around, for the youngest to wake up from his nap or the brother to pick up my niece from her SATs or somebody's plane to come in or leave.

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I took this scarf, the new socks, and the new sweater to Philly with me, but all I worked on was the scarf. The socks and sweater are at that stage called "starting the cable pattern" and I couldn't quite cope with doing that while swaying on the train or chatting with family. I did, however, get about 3 feet of this scarf knit, and I'm enjoying every stitch. It's wonderful yarn. Go to Gail's etsy shop and buy something from her; it's all wonderful yarn.

I found, though, that I had to really concentrate on my knitting. This is a very easy lace stitch, worked over only 38 stitches, yet I often came to the end of a row and found I had 39 stitches on my needle. Hmm. Or I'd get through the first repeat just fine and then come up a stitch short or a stitch too many at the end of the second repeat, when I KNOW the previous lace row was perfect. Hmm, some more. I can blame the yarn, a little: mohair is wispy and generates faux stitches where there are none, or two stitches snuggle up too close to one another and are k2tog when they're not supposed to be. I can blame the motion of the train - hard to catch just the right loop in the middle of a sway or swoop. I can blame bad light or an awkward seat or any number of things, but really ...

I wasn't paying attention enough. I was not centered on the task. I kept thinking: Am I on the right train? Why do parents have to get old and eventually die? Should I have had kids? Where is there a yarn shop I can go visit? I wonder if Mom has any good books she wants to give away? Am I on the right train? Why do I have to get old and die? What are my 4 siblings really like? How do they cope? Should I knit on the sock instead? Am I on the right train?

What is my journey, anyhow? Hell if I know. In the meantime, enjoy my orchid cactus - there must be 30 blooms and buds on this one plant. Some days, beauty is all there is.

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3 comments :

Hi! said...

PIGin' out too. Wish we had gotten together it would have been a fest!


I was on the train ALB to NYC last week having the same conversation. At least I knew I was on the right train as the River was there.

I think its just the spring mental closet cleaning. Soon summer will come and we will settle in to complacent weaving as the crickets chirp.

Elizabeth said...

Thinking about eventual mortality aside, I find that even the easiest lace is not compatible with distractions. Just me.

I can do all sorts of colorwork in a distracting environment. But the lace? I lose my place every time.

Juno said...

Um, I'm thinking most of us don;t know what journey we're on. Except in moments.
And (um again) thank you. If you'd ever heard me talk about sex you would probably take back the classy, but well, thank you.