Thursday, August 28, 2008

Forced Sock March

Who in the world thought it would be a good idea for me to finish 4 pairs of socks by September 3rd? Oh, that would be me. And the pressure is on, despite the fact that the recipients don't know there is a looming deadline and only have a vague notion that they are getting socks.

Three pair are done and the fourth is still in process, with 6 days left to go. Sock #1 of the pair is past the heel and heading up toward the cuff. It's a wonderful self-striping yarn in black and blues with aloe and jojoba added for softness. In fact, I'm going to hate to see this pair go out the door and (more especially) on to someone else's feet.

This self imposed discipline is not grating, despite the fact that I generally use my knitting time for relaxation. The need for speed has led me to more time knitting than I probably would have allowed myself without the deadline. So, in a backwards sort of way, the discipline is liberating. It is re-introducing me to quiet, early morning, meditative knitting and a true regret in putting down my needles for something I must do instead. The speed that I'm working at also allows my mind to move both away from the act of knitting and, at the same time, more deeply into the act of knitting. The rhythm of throwing the yarn and sliding the stitches, sets up a corresponding rhythm within myself. I focus in on the individual stitches until they disappear into themselves. And, as they become a unified process, my thoughts also disappear into themselves.

All of which leads my mind to the question of what is our true work? Is it the thing we do in order to pay the bills? Or is it, instead, those things which we are eager to do, which speak of our connection to ourselves or to others and which we are reluctant to walk away from?

Monday, August 18, 2008

a change in the weather

After three days of fairly unbearable heat, the winds came in and brought with them rain clouds to cool us off. Along with it came an organ shivering thunder that you felt before you heard. Followed by a true downpour that lasted all too briefly.

Once I got my students safely occupied in groups, I gazed out the window. There was a green veil of leaves and branches that draped over the windows, filtering the pale light of the cloudy day into the room. And I felt as I always do when I look through that particular window; the strong desire to sit hidden from everyone, nestled up against the wall, beneath the branches of the rhododendron or whatever sort of large bush it is.

There is a primeval feel to those bushes that draws me, despite the fact that they and the building are only a few yards from the road and all the trappings of "civilization". They emit a feeling of seclusion and safety which never fails to speak to me. Some days, I can watch a squirrel tumble around the branches. Other days, it's a raven looking in through the window. Whatever is present creates a feeling of connection in me on a deep level that requires no words to achieve intimacy.

My students are always oblivious to what is going on out the window behind them. And I, selfishly perhaps, keep it for myself.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


As I have matured, grown older and, hopefully, learned a few things; I have discovered my spirituality shifting. In writing this blog, I hope to explore how the spiritual and the so-called non-spiritual are determined only by our perception of them.

I find deep meaning in the work of my hands, whether that be creating something new or cleaning something old. (excepting toilets. I haven't found meaning in cleaning those yet.) My work for money includes a lot of use of my intellect and can be challenging. But, I am finding that those things that I can hold in my hands feel like more of an accomplishment or, perhaps, more real.

So, I will be reflecting on what might be the mundane aspects of life and how they may offer the deep spiritual underpinnings that many folks look for. I'll also be musing on quotes from others that seem true to me. I'll probably also be posting images of completed projects once I get up to speed on this blogging thing.