30 April 2012

Serendipity? Or The Agony Of It All.

You know that phenomenon when you're talking about something or learning something new and very shortly after, the same subject comes up in another context? Is there a name for that?  Is serendipity right?  Coincidence seems too weak a term.
So, I'm sitting around talking with a friend yesterday about the nature of love and loss - as one does. Do you ever love as nakedly, as completely as you do that first time?  Do you ever get over the pain of the loss of great love?  Why, when humankind has been obsessed with such themes for hundreds of years, are we not able to figure out the answers?  Typical Sunday afternoon conversation.  
Ya, I rather dig that I have a friend with whom I can talk about this stuff.
Then, this morning I was listening to the Poetry Off the Shelf podcast on my way to work - as one does.  It was the April 2012 podcast discussing the work of a poet named  W.S. Di Piero .  He reads from his poem 'What's Left', a work about the dailiness of love and the pain of it being gone.
My friend said during our talk, that the worst part is that you just feel shitty all the time.  You go to bed feeling that way, close yours eyes, open them a second later and feel just as bad as the night before.  Been there. You too right?
Perhaps poets exist partly to express perfectly what we already know?  To make us say, "Yes.  That's it exactly."

The days eat into your stomach, knife you
with longing for relief from love
that you cannot leave or leave alone,
from its rings of fire where you won’t
burn down to ash or be transformed.

Listen to the poet read the whole poem here.

28 April 2012

Magic Baby. Pure Magic.

There's a scene in the movie Men With Brooms that I love.  The protagonist Cutter, the skip of the title's curling team played by Paul Gross, is kneeling on the ice, leaning over his rock and listening.  He's preparing for the crazy shot that makes up the film's dramatic climax. The skip of the opposing team asks Paul's teammate Lennox, played by Peter Outerbridge (Hello Peter Outerbridge.  Do I smell underrated adorable? Yes, I believe I do.) what he's doing.
"Making poetry baby", is the reply.

Today was the DKC's annual Knitters Frolic - an event to which I seem doomed never to capture in a focused photograph.  Now, usually, when I attend the market, my method is this:  Do the whole floor once. Slowly. Buy nothing but make mental notes of two or three things. Then go back round again.  Those items  that still speak to me or are indeed, still there, are the ones I'm meant to buy.
Today was different,  I had been there a total of maybe twenty minutes when I hit the Wellington Fibres booth and my usual plan evaporated. This one remaining skein of fingering weight, 80% mohair, 20% wool, in the colour Plum, virtually leaped off the shelf into my arms.  This is a yarn of substance in the hands.  It has the sheen of silk, the weight of linen and the drape of bamboo.  It feels like a new puppy.  I will name it and love it forever. How is it possible to spin and dye simple mohair into this impossibly joyful burst of gorgeous?  By adding 650 yards of mad skill and a pinch of abracadabra magic.  Making poetry baby.

Oh, below is the only decent photo I managed to take all day.  It's a sample shawl in an alarmingly appealing bubblegum pink, draped over the Painted Fleece booth.  Can you see the cute glass beads glinting and the sterling silver flecks twinkling?  I tried to convince Missy and Sarah to just give it to me as I liked it so much and it matched my outfit. Strangely, they wouldn't go for it.

19 April 2012

Sometimes You Eat The Bear

...and sometimes you post the cat.

14 April 2012

We Put the "Drunk" in Drunken

Here are some of the ladies who bring you Drunken Knitters once a month (not to mention the TTC Knitalong).We met again last night at our favourite pub where it came up in conversation that we've been doing so for over six years now. Wow. To think that there was a time in my life when I did not know this amazing group of people.  How different my life was six years ago.

Naturally, as is often the case after Drunken Knitting Friday, I had a very tired Saturday.  I've read and knit some more and have consumed massive amounts of tea. I only wandered as far as the corner market today to buy some vegetables.  I brought The Daughter's camera and took a few shots to get the hang of it.  It really was lovely out today, even when the clouds came.  The veggies looked particularly gorgeous, and in the case if the celery root, mysterious, in that afternoon half light.

10 April 2012

Short Rows

I've started the sleeve cap of the cardigan three times and have ripped back as many times,  The pattern technique is to pick up from the armhole edge of the body, then knit in the round shaping with short rows.  While I understand the possible advantages of such a technique, I'm obviously struggling with the execution.  I've always found knitting sleeves in the round to be cumbersome with all that turning of the whole project in your lap.  Also, the wrap and turns on reverse stocking stitch has me completely stymied!  I keep getting this odd ridge that looks like a diagonal stocking stitch row.
I think the basic problem is that I don't understand the mechanics of knitting stitches well enough to make adjustments when they don't do what I want them to do.  My w & t technique is as it's always been - bring ytf, slip purlwise, wrap, pass stitch back, turn.  However, when the result is not as desired, I don't have the knowledge, or mojo, or mad skills or whatever, needed to fix it.  Frustrating.  Perhaps I should meditate on it?  Consult a guru?

08 April 2012


The Gratitude List; I've not paid enough attention to it of late.  Still, on top of that list, after almost four years, is my street.  I never tire of the trees and sky.  I never take for granted how fortunate I am to live here.

Top photo:  Last week.
Next photo:  Last autumn.

01 April 2012

Recitation Observation

The brilliant** author and poet Elizabeth Smart believed everyone had at least one recitation in them  At her house parties, she would often call out for people to recite from memory for those assembled.  This I know from Rosemary Sullivan's excellent biography By Heart (one of the books regrettably lost in the great book purge of 2008).  I've often mused on this.  If called upon to recite at a gathering, would I be able to do so?   And wouldn't it be wonderful to attend such parties where this type of thing is a regular occurrence?  Would Goodnight My Little Bunny be enough?  One suspects not.  However, I did pull that one out once at a family party and it was received happily by the children for its inherent charm. (My ex-husband could do Ode To A Dying Frog from Pickwick Papers at the drop of a hat.)
I've tried several times over the years, with varying success, to memorize pieces of favourite verse.  A bit here, a fragment there. The only poem I have ever completely retained was by the wit, the beautiful, the sad genius, Dorothy Parker. Eight perfect lines, read only two or three times, and burned forever on my brain. So here, from memory, is:


If I don't drive around the park
I'm pretty sure to make my mark.
If I'm in bed each night by ten,
I may get back my looks again.
If I abstain from fun and such,
I'll probably amount to much;
But I shall stay the way I am,
Because I do not give a damn.

I suspect that Dorothy, like me, did give a little bit of a damn.  What folks think of you does matter.  It's lovely to be liked, to be included.  However, she knew that the effort involved in being so terribly liked and the pieces of yourself you have to surrender for the sake of  inclusion, are not, in the end, worth it.  If you no longer know yourself, what's the point? That's what these seemingly comic and light lines are really saying.  That's why they have stayed with me these many years.

**Footnote Hint:  Read The Assumption of Rogues and Rascals aloud to yourself at night.