Saturday, October 31, 2009

Posthumously Yours


A house is never still in darkness to those who listen intently; there is a whispering in distant chambers, an unearthly hand presses the snib of the window, the latch rises. Ghosts were created when the first man awoke in the night.

J.M. Barrie

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Coyote, A Nut, and a Tire Iron Walked Into a Bar...

The colors in the creek are the colors of my son's eyes. Green and gold and rust that in low light look brown and in sunshine look like Donegal moss tweed. We went exploring, one of our favorite autumnal activities, and the three of us each found something exciting to share. My son, our protector, outfitted with a holstered yellow squirt gun in case we disturbed any copperheads, found a millipede the size of his forearm. My daughter, our captain, steered us in the right direction, discovering a new piece of playground equipment deemed suitable for vigorous play after a thorough inspection. And I, the navigator, wandered off to daydream by the gritty bank, leaving the other two up to their own devices. Hey, I'm never voted the captain for a reason. I found something too.

On the eastern exposure of the mossy tree in this photo is a hollow, carved out by water under a gnarled canopy of roots. I slid a few feet down the bank to check it out and to my surprise there was a woman tucked halfway in there, pale and shivering. Her wet hair braided with the roots. I couldn't tell where she began and the tree ended. I instantly recognized her.

"Catherine?" Her pained eyes fluttered in acknowledgement. "Why are you under these roots and not back home in the tidy short story I just finished writing about you?"

"You tell me," she croaked, her voice as sandy as the creek side,"I just woke up here and I think I'm dying, but I don't know why."

"Oh," I offered impotently. She rolled her washed out eyes at me. I pondered the situation for a moment and added, "Well, I guess I'll have to write you into and out of this."

"Thanks, Heather," she whispered, "and don't forget the coyotes, Uncle Nut, or the tire iron, okay?" She hacked for a moment then scrunched her gaunt face and spat blood and half an opalescent shell by my foot. I grimaced and nodded, climbing back up the slippery slope.

Following my Captain and Guard to the falls, I gave the scene some thought and as other families trickled into the park after church, I snapped this pic of the kids. Why don't we focus on the cuteness of these two and not the hapless navigator whose imagination at times is crazy-making.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dreams in a Language Not My Own

On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur.
L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.
Saint-Exupéry

While my friend Nicole reads my first draft, I am writing short stories. Some real, most imagined, one a combination of the two. I find that of all my passions, and my regular readers know I have more than a few, writing makes me feel most fulfilled. Even when I reread the hours worth of words I've sacrificed sleep to create, only to delete them all, I am never disappointed in myself for having done so. Inspiration rarely alludes me, especially when crafting a short story. I tend to collect them in my mind and recall them later like half remembered conversations with old friends. I simply have to fill in the details.

Sometimes a story finds me, inadvertently and unexpectedly, in a gesture as simple as a handshake or a stranger's glance. In these instances I practically fall over myself and anyone in the way to get home and write the story I've created around them. The strands of thought seem to appear from nowhere, yet they feel as if they have always been a part of me, and like the cobwebs I can't reach on my foyer chandelier, they will remain. Glittering in the shifting light of day, these fragile connections remind me to look always within my heart for that which is invisible to my eyes.

On a completely different note, I have dreamt, vividly, in French for the past few nights. Problem is, I don't speak French (other than a few phrases). Apparently I understand it in my dreams though. How random is that? Maybe I need to stop perusing so many Canadian knitting blogs before bed. My subconscious self is exponentially more interesting than my waking self and that, my friends, is just sad. I wonder what Foucault would have to say about this phenomenon? I'm going to sleep on that thought and I'll give you his theory in the morning.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hermione's Everyday Socks


Pattern: Hermione's Everyday Socks (rav) by Erica Lueder
Wool: Knit Picks Stroll in burgundy
Needles: US# 1 dpn's, 7", aluminum, with a Phoenix Feather core

One of my favorite events surrounding Hermione Granger, cleverest witch of her age, in the Harry Potter series, was the tongue-tied, hapless attentions she received from Viktor Krum, the surly Bulgarian Quidditch champion. (That was a comma-splosion sentence, sorry.) Anyway, Viktor could never pronounce her name no matter how hard he tried, usually addressing her as Hermy-own-ninny or something close. I felt for the man. I have the same problem when introduced to people who speak a language other than English and children. "Edda" is usually what I answer to in these situations.

No matter, a name is just a name and sometimes, despite best intentions, you can't seem to get a thing to come out right, or out at all. So has it been with these socks. Life blocked my every intention of finishing them in my usual two week window. I think I cast on for these three months ago. Alas, my friends, they are finally finished, and all without the help of a time turner or charm. Now who's the cleverest witch?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Awesome x Three

Kate Perry, Marketing Assistant for Knit Picks, has featured two of my knit projects using City Tweed in her blog post here. Thanks Kate! All of the projects she features can be found on Ravelry by clicking on the photostream. It gives me a warm feeling to be included with so many talented knitters.

The second bit of awesome I'm soaking up this week is an album by The Avett Brothers. I especially love the song Head Full of Doubt/ Road Full of Promise. I wish I had written it. Let's pretend it was written for me, ok?

Last bit of awesome is this exchange between my 4 year old and I while waiting at the bus stop yesterday:

him: "What's that smell?"

me: "I don't know. It is unusual. What do you think it smells like?"

him: "Like tea... and teenagers."

Poetic in a delightfully charming and odd way, don't you think?