Monday, November 30, 2009

Now I unravel.


To begin again.
To devour monotony.

Back then I struggled --
needy, clumsy,
distracted.

Longing to be dependent.

He, in the hospital.
She, the instructor.

Stiff with worry.
The world draped heavily over my shoulders.

Resting in the repetition.

No variation,
ever.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rotten Apples

My Corner, 2008

Them.
I wanted to smash them,
like rotten apples.

WHACK --
with a mallet.

Because I,
I was a ripe tangerine,
with a bright orange peel.

Unblemished.
Sweet.
Pure.

And they,
they reminded me of
mushy and mealy things.

Old,
like God.
They were all knowing.

It must have been wonderful
to embody such wisdom.

Like Maman,
Louise’s giant spider.

But I didn’t care,
I doubted them.

And like a nasty little crab,
backed quietly into my corner.

It Was a Very Good Year

Outside the Morning Glory Cottage, November 2009


Looking back... It was a very good year.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cotton Candy & Thundercloud

Cotton Candy, 2009

Thundercloud, 2009


A couple new shop items... That's all. Enjoy your evening.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Unfinished

Unfinished, 2009

Truth be told, I've been feeling a little sorry for myself this morning.

It seems so much is unfinished and I'm craving completion. I have so many projects that are in-the-works.

For instance, I finished the scarf above yesterday evening. Well, I thought I'd finished it. It's not finished. You see, I have this trait. I like doing things my own way and that often includes not following instructions and reinventing the wheel. This rebelliousness takes time, but it makes me happy, or so I thought.

It all began quite some time ago, it's been so long I'm not really sure how long, exactly. Chris really wanted a striped scarf and I decided I'd attempt it without seeking any true knitting advice. I could figure this out on my own. Right? Sort of.

First, I knit three stripes (very thin yarn, very slim needles) the same length, but they weren't. Maybe it was the shift in yarn, some cotton and some a blend. So I unraveled, bound off again, and blocked. All set, but not. I looked up some means of attaching knit pieces and didn't really feel a bond with any of them, so I created my own method. I stitched my stripes together and somewhere along the line they became uneven again.

Anyway...the story goes on like this for a while. I saw it as a learning experience. I felt myself expanding (in a good way).

Yesterday, just before midnight, I proudly completed (but not) the scarf. Chris tried it on this morning and it's not right. It's too short. I might add a large block of a solid color to the end (pale green? orange?), sort of Mondrianesque.

It just might end up being really cool (please), but I thought it was complete...sigh.

I was sad and it wasn't just the scarf. You see, there is construction in front of AND beside my apartment and it is extraordinarily loud, seriously, it's so loud. My local library is closed for renovation. Chris is working so many hours. ...and I'm really sick of having cigarette smoke blown in my face on the street!

So, needless to say, I was really going down, down in a depressed poet sort of way. Then I saw some nice light filtering in through my bay window (I love good light) and I found this gentleman's sweet blog and his link to this dancing that looks like so much fun.

I smiled.

As I watched the video clip I started dancing a little bit, with myself, on my couch, in the sun.

Then I finished this post.

Life isn't so bad.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Christopher

Christopher in Waitsfield, Vermont
Summer 2006


Curious and warm.
Growing uninhibitedly,
as a seed emerges from the earth.
Smiling at the sun.

Friday, November 13, 2009

On Perfectly Buttered Toast and other things

book, window, and wine glass of water, 2009

I've been away. I've taken a solo trip to the country to regroup, refuel, recharge, and all other such res. An early birthday gift to myself (along with A Platter of Figs and other recipes by David Tanis). No telephone, no computer, no one, but me.

written earlier...

It's about 9 o'clock in the morning. I'm looking out the large paned window which takes up most of the east wall of my petite one-room cottage. The sky is white and the sun is shining. I see a small dark bird with a white belly perched upon the old white fence that protects the sheep while they graze. Although it is November, the grass is bright green and wet with dew. The West Marin landscape drinks in the rain after a long dry summer and makes autumn look like spring.

I'm nestled in with a generous slice of sweet sticky Morning Bun Coffee Cake from Bovine Bakery. When I entered the bakery, just about 15 minutes ago, I was convinced my drive into town had been a waste of time. I saw just about everything but my favorite coffee cake inside the glass case. My heart sunk. I wasn't feeling hopeful at all when I hesitantly asked ...any chance you have Morning Bun Coffee Cake back there? The owner replied with It's just come out of the oven. We're about to slice it. Music to my ears.

This slice is so large it requires a sturdy fork and knife. As I savor my first bite, sip my tea, and read David's seemingly effortless guidelines for preparing Lobster Risotto I have to pause for a moment, a long moment, and take in the utter beauty of it all. Nothing going on here is expensive or at all difficult to arrange, yet it's exquisite. It's worth planning this sort of solo time, what I've been calling my retreat. It is this uninterrupted time alone that offers me the time and space to reflect on my life and appreciate others. Which brings me back to yesterday, my first morning alone.

It was a quiet day. I watched a little black sheep nibble on grasses beneath the apple trees. KWMR hummed in the background. As I wrapped yarn around my needles to and fro, knit, purl, knit, purl, I heard Reading to John announced. Reading to John is a radio show. Neshama Franklin read to her husband John for many years before he died and now she reads to her radio audience. Such a beautiful idea, yet also so sad. An experience once shared with a loved one is now read into a microphone from The Creamery Building in downtown Point Reyes Station. Where it goes nobody knows.

I love the indulgence of having a book read to me or having someone serve me a simple meal. Why do these things feel so indulgent? Perhaps it is because I'm an adult and such offerings are typically reserved for children. John was lucky. I'm lucky.

No one can prepare perfectly buttered slices of toast like my mother. I have bitten into many fine slices of buttered toast, but Mom's, it has some indescribable quality that cannot be duplicated. I believe this is the type of feeling we all long to conjure up again, those good ol' days when we were fragile and small, served nice slices of toast, and loved unconditionally.

Chris has prepared elaborate meals for me and surprised me with interesting new ingredients, but it's those little things (those things along the lines of buttered toast) that really make me happy. There's nothing that makes me love a man more than his placing a cutting board decorated with apple and cheese slices in front of me while I'm reading a nice book on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Oh, yes. That's what I'm talking about.

Reading a book to me works well too. I recall lounging in a little cottage on Block Island, watching the sun set, as Chris read from Michael Ondaatje's Divisadero. I also have some beautiful memories of listening to Chris read John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley to me while we camped in Yosemite. There were moments in the sun, sprawled out on mats beside our tent, late nights inside our tent when Chris read with a headlamp, and one day that is so clear in my memory, Chris reading as we both relaxed and dangled our feet from a bridge near Glen Aulin Falls. The light was so beautiful that day.

Why were these moments so special? Is it because I'm in love, because Chris is such a great guy, or is it because these moments take me back to the comfortable feeling of being a child--fine toast, bedtime stories...

It was a warm summer night. Our exhausted voices pleaded One more story, Mom! Just one more! One more! Please... Mom looked down at us, dressed in our cotton nighties and tucked beneath our cool sheets as she, tired from a day filled with two rambunctious little girls, gave in and said Okay...

Once upon a time there was a butterfly.
The butterfly flew away.
The end.


morning bun coffee cake, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My plum (scarf), it's done!

My new plum scarf. Completed November 3, 2009.

I have been putting this poor scarf on hold for what seems an eternity. First it was tabled so I could knit a hat for Chris (my first circular needle project). I used an interesting blue and grey yarn he selected from Art Fibers. The hat ended up being several sizes too large, but that's beside the point. It was still a fine hat, albeit rather large. Then I put my scarf on hold again to knit little Hadley a sweet peanut-sized cotton scarf. I used another lovely Art Fibers yarn, it looked like the sky on a near-clear day. Next, I knit a scarf for Mom. I used a beautiful cream-colored Be Sweet yarn that I bought during a "yarn tasting" at Bluebird Yarn in Sausalito. There was also the scarf I knit for myself with large needles and a wonderful Japanese yarn I found at Greenwich Yarn. The needles were very big, so I could knit it quickly and get back to my delicate little plum scarf, but then I started a striped scarf for Chris... Finally, I put the striped scarf on hold to work on my very own plum scarf.

Today I completed my plum scarf. I am so pleased! It is made from a gorgeous 76% silk 19% superkid mohair 5% wool yarn I selected from Art Fibers before they left their San Francisco location. It's beautiful and it feels fantastic.

But why is the sun shining so brightly and why is the forecast showing a high of 78 degrees in San Francisco today? Sigh...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Like a Lullaby

Tulips, 2006

It was a dark day.
So much cold, so little light.
It had shifted quickly.
Like a butcher, wrapping a piece
of my soul
, neatly, in plain
white paper
, and departing with it cradled
close to the chest
.
Leaving me incomplete,as if I’d never been finished.But I had --I’d been finished
and even rebuilt.
I didn’t want to go,but they arrived
in the midst of my darkness
and brought a ball of bright.So warm,so nice.
And they carried me away,softly, quietly,like a lullaby.