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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Reflections and Lace

It’s odd for me to sit down with a wish to write for this blog and find I have little to say. Revision – little EXCITING to say. While I have a wish to be entertaining, I can think of nothing suitable to offer up for snickers, giggles, or guffaws. Nothing is wrong. I am not melancholy or morose. While I still struggle to keep my days and nights straight, I am enjoying my recent endeavors to meet new people and have been getting out regularly. My work progresses, and I’ve even conquered typical household problems like a clogged toilet and an argument between my computer and my scanner.

Confidence has reduced the roller coaster to a slightly hilly path, and sleep increases my ability to handle such bumps as bumps, not catastrophic occurrences. I have re-arranged furniture, purchased some lovely hanging plants, and made wonderful progress on my reading and my summer lace shawl. When traveling, I’m knitting the I-cord strips for the baby kimono from Mason-Dixon Knitting, the lost linen hand towel has been returned, and summer progresses at a reasonable rate.

All in all, it seems that functioning smoothly has become such an anomaly that I’m not sure what to do with it!

Wonder of wonders, I actually helped a friend with her resume, and in the process, managed to make inroads on updating my own without having to resort to hypnotic therapy or large doses of alcohol. It should be ready for fall without the pressure that circumstance usually adds to the task. While I continue to struggle with my own reluctance to ask for rides and assistance, I’m getting better at it. I have wondered if part of my reluctance is a fear that I will not contribute enough to be valuable to the person of whom I’m asking a favor – but I’ve evidence to disprove the concern. People seem quite willing to assist, especially since I tend to rotate my requests, rather than concentrating them on one person.

I have noticed the tentative beginnings of a feeling of interconnectedness – tentative, but not filled with concern or guilt. Odd, that.
Blindness and depression can BOTH lead to such isolation, and while I have often spent large chunks of time in contemplative mode, walking the hills near my family’s home in southern Indiana, prowling the state forestry, or drifting on our own acreage in the dark, I am in inherently social creature when functioning normally. Despite the concerns that inhibit my encounters with the world, people fascinate me. They are so very interesting, even if I don’t like them!

Despite my conviction that the human race is far less civilized than we would like to think ourselves, I admire and wonder at what we can be each day. Watching a mind work, tracing interactions and responses, examining ideas of self and society and the webs of connection between those perceptions, hearing stories, watching faces as I tell my own, sharing reactions and events, contributing enthusiasm and quiet observation, all the variations both entertain and mystify me.

How to predict the equivalent of a k2together or a yarn over? How to repair a dropped stitch? If the lace metaphor holds, where do I position myself in the pattern? Am I part of a circular shawl, a triangle? A square? If I refuse the position at the center, instinctively knowing that this is not my place at this time, then how to orient my contributions? What part of the design suits my strengths, my predecessors and my antecedents? A quiet anchor stitch, one of many that make up the strength and beauty of the whole? Part of the edging, that intricate extra that must have the means to survive the risks of its tenuous position? How does my position, role, structure, composition change when those around me are altered by chance or choice, circumstance or fate?

The lace has been forming, the pattern starting to develop; I can finally begin to see the order of it. And I think it’s alpaca rather than acrylic!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Missing the Bus

Friends and family will tell you, if they are being polite, that I often have a bit of a problem getting places on time. If in their cups, telling family stories, or recently frustrated by my long term habits, they’ll tell you I haven’t been early for anything since being born prematurely forty years ago! [sigh] I have made improvements. Since giving up driving, I’m usually on time, or only five minutes this way or that due to the vagaries of the bus system in a small town. I’ve also required myself to give up the fantasy of “just one more thing before I go,” a wicked and dangerous thought process for procrastinators and other unorganized types. Now, if I can just learn not to keep tossing “one more thing” into my knitting bag, I might be able to travel with some degree of calm serenity. As it is, my genetically inherited tendency to over-pack has me resembling a frazzled pack mule or over-burdened burro on most trips out into the world!

I’ve learned to keep my keys in my purse, my purse in one or two places in the house, and my hat and blind cane within reach of the front door – though in truth, I also keep extras of those two items.

And yet, there are still days when I miss the bus. [sigh] Some would consider this a euphemism for many things in my life, but having an intense focus on my own world is not always being oblivious, nor is it the same as having blinkers on. It’s not!

Oversleeping is often the culprit when I miss the bus. Don’t try talking to me on the phone unless I’ve had a significant amount of time and large quantities of coffee or hot tea to clear the fog! I have friends who call ten to fifteen minutes BEFORE they really want to talk to me if they know I’m likely to be napping. They wake me up, listen to me ramble until I find a source of hot liquid or caffeine, and then call back after a bit to actually hold a coherent (semi – coherent) conversation. Yet within this cloud of fuzziness and interiority, I find I can read Sartre, Derrida, Jonathan Culler, and other theorists without a problem. They make even better sense then than they do once I’ve had time to wake up and be distracted by the day. Makes me wonder just exactly what synapses are doing what in there!

But today, I find I must blame a watch whose pop-open lid and accessible hands are fascinating to the three-year-old imagination for part of the problem this morning. But honestly, the joy on a child’s face when she pops open my pendant watch so closely mirrors my own pleasure at owning the Braille watch that I wouldn’t refuse her access to it if I thought it would help. There’s something magical and mysterious about a watch on a chain that pops open on a touch. Like a jack-in-the-box or other items of happy expectation from childhood, this watch has changed some of my relationships with time. I’ve just got to remember to reset the hands to match the kitchen clock, one that’s a tad faster than the buses!

As for other matters of timeliness? Ahemm. I still have Christmas Presents in my house waiting to be sent. I’m just finishing the gifts for my mom’s birthday and mothers day – I love the colors and really enjoyed picking the patterns for these linen hand towels.

I have a drawer for collecting cards that didn’t get sent, and another of cards for “all occasions” which allow me to appear at gatherings with the appearance of timely preparedness –but it’s a scam. Well, today, my problems with time will not defeat me. After missing the bus this morning, I came home to some work and a nap, and now I venture out to restart the day in fine style as the busses go back to their fast-running schedules. Returned to my regular programming, I expect to get quite a bit done this afternoon, and I’ll have time to enjoy myself as well.

Oh yes, the mystery. A friend posted the following picture on
her blog as a brave reminder of a lost friend. It is a lovely sentiment. But recognizing the event portrayed in the poster, I also had to smile.

KnitNana and I both have some trouble with our eyes, so her use of a poster depicting one of the final tests for Seeing Eye dogs did make me chuckle. That kitten may THINK she’s dashing through the valley of death, but those highly trained, fearsome looking Shepherds won’t budge. If they move to follow her, they fail their test. So she is safe. Amazingly safe, actually. So safe that with appropriate training myself, I would let these same creatures lead me into an urban jungle, a parking lot maze, or Wal-mart on a Saturday afternoon!

Part Two

I did get my errands done, and I must say, I’m having a lovely time making my way through the projects in Mason-Dixon Knitting. I’m well on my way through a version of the baby kimono, and it is such a lark! Quick to knit, very satisfying, and with just enough shaping and design elements to keep a mind satisfied.

While out and about, I picked up enough dishcloth cotton for another one for my niece – I’ll have to make some guesses as to sizing, but I think I can manage it. And I picked up more colors for more washcloths for the house. All this for under $20. Who could have thought?

After watching K. wearing one of her lovely shawls in the mall the other week, I am determined to have a summer-weight lace shawl for myself. Now. Let’s be honest. I have the makings for at least FIVE such shawls in the house, but continue to glance at the patterns, fondle the yarn, and then set the projects aside. Not sure what’s going on with that, but my lace cravings are resurfacing. And in my LYS last week, I spotted these lovely skeins of alpaca.

And with a bit of digging, I managed to find this lovely pattern from a back issue of --- well, I’m not sure which mag it was. But if anyone is interested, let me know and I’ll go digging for it again. Alpaca is one of my favorite fibers to work with, so I don’t this project will be collecting much dog-fur before being completed!

I’ve slept; I’ve had coffee (lovely substance!). I’ve chatted with friends online. It’s time to take pictures for this entry and get it posted. I read on a friend’s blog that blogger is working again, so hopefully, I won’t miss the bus on this posting!