Even though the yarnalong link up isn’t happening just now — if I remember I am still sharing what I’m reading and knitting— it’s a nice practice to keeping a record.
I’m knitting Joanna’s cozy knee socks in a casual knit along for February ~ it’s a lovely free pattern that you can find here. I’m going quite slowly but I can tell they are a quick knit – if only one would decide to pick up the needles.
I finished reading and sometimes listening to Bless Me, Ultima which at first I loved and then decided wasn’t my style. I loved his familiar voice. I’m not sure what turned me in the end, it wasn’t the murder or magic, I think it was the gross boys he wrote. I’ll keep it on my shelves because of who wrote it and what he means to me personally as a New Mexican and a writer.
This week I am reading cookbooks, looking for inspiration. I’ve picked up the beautiful poems by Levi Romero again. I love his voice and it fills my brain and my rooms like music.
I wrote before that the mostly quarantine calm of our Holidays this year were to us, “a kind of soothing balm to all of our scrapes and wounds that this strange year has brought us.”
But what I did not say, perhaps because the thoughts had not yet been processed, is that – the mostly quarantined calm of this last season of Holidays and weirdly even big days like this last Sunday’s Super Bowl left me with room for sadness and mourning.
I suppose this is another gift given by this pandemic. The unexpected quiet gives us space and time and to see and feel all the things that busy life didn’t leave us room for before. Just one more surprise, a sort of small grace. One more hard thing to be thankful for.
Winter is back. Although New Mexico isn’t the most Wintery type of place. I’m hungry for Spring and Summer. I’m letting myself begin to think about gardens and chickens and clothes hanging on clothes lines. I’m eager for sunshine and hot days and June bugs. For bare feet and slow walks, trampolines and lazy afternoons reading in the grass.
I sure hope we get there. I hope you get where you long for too.
I finished Gilead by Marilynne Robinson yesterday. It is beautiful and seemed to speak so much so me. I started reading A Promised Land By Barack Obama before Christmas and I have loved it as far as I’ve gotten although this is not very far at all- maybe 7 chapters. I plan to pick it up again soon.
I am knitting a wee scarf for 13’s teddy bear (that he requested for his birthday) and am attempting a doll or a stuffy or a something that I am a bit unsure about as yet for a purpose that I am just as unsure about (my normal process).
Christmas week we managed to catch planets aligning just so and took what some had dubbed the Star of Bethlehem as a promise that Jesus is with us still. Of course we know that, of course we do- but planets aligning just so the week of Christmas was such a sweet and delightful happening that I took hold of it as such a sign of goodness and hope after this year. I made sure to say it again and again to all of us.
Our Christmas was quite quiet this year. Goodness it was nice. I would have loved to visit family and have a house full to brimming and meet new babies and all that but it was, to us, a kind of soothing balm to all of our scrapes and wounds that this strange year has brought us. I’m not even really speaking about Covid-19 as much as a ton of other really difficult things that happened as well as the wretched virus. We had a lovely Christmas and I am thankful.
We went away to the mountains for a few days after Christmas – very carefully and we were completely on our own. It was such a good break from our house. I did not take any yarn or needles or a hook with me which must have been the very first time since I don’t even know when, and this was a much needed rest for my hands after so long Knitting for Others (HK edition) and all the normal Christmas Knitting.
Three kids asked for socks and three asked for fingerless mitts for Christmas which was nice and easy. I used this sock pattern, and this one– both slightly modified. For the Mitts I used a few patterns (maize, honeycomb and paddle to be precise) from Tin Can Knits – also slightly modified. I made myself a pair of socks and hubby too and knitted several Christmas wash cloths to go into gift baskets but I made those up as I went.
In my journal I wrote that my goal for a certain profile description might someday read, “In between books and work I knit and make.” I don’t feel that the last year had enough completed books or making which is what I call creating things of my own design – in whatever medium I chose- to be able to use that description as yet. Perhaps at the end of this year those words will prove true enough to my heart to use them. I’m half joking but I think that maybe mostly I am not.
I’m not bothering this year with anything even slightly resembling a New Year resolution. I really want to, out of habit perhaps. But nah. Not this time. I’m cherishing my kids and doing my best to give them what they need right here, right now. I’m clinging to my husband, my very best friend ( for real though) as we both struggle – a lot – but not enough to lose faith. I’m shoring up all my edges with only the most necessary. Also cherishing sweet friends in chats and zoom calls and phone coffee dates. I’m biding my time until the day that I can visit family far away. I don’t know what is coming but I do know that He knows. God, I mean and that is a great comfort.
There is yoga in my bathroom and walks at the trail I love and the treadmill although not as often as I should but oh well! There is the sense that I just might use some of the hundred and twenty-seven thousand healthy recipes that I have collected over the years. There is a note in my back pocket (it actually hangs above my desk but I think you get my meaning) that says, “start and don’t stop until you finish.” Also there are quiet times and prayer and I won’t lie, probably too much crying but none of that is new. I don’t spot a resolution in there at all.
All this to say that we are good here. Struggling, hurt, wounded, afraid, anxious, unnerved maybe- probably, for sure. But we are together. We are loved and comforted. We are seen and heard, known and that is huge. We are prayerful and full of hope even in our doubt. I think we know each other better which is a lot, maybe everything. I hope that you are well where you are. I pray that you are comforted when you need comfort and strengthened when you need strength and loved. All of it really. Not to sound too preachy but you are not alone, I hope that is something that we all can know deeply when it matters.
The sun sets behind a building made of wood and stone and earth: time. She is a fireball in the sky. Burning orange with her shoulders wide, arms stretched out over the horizon, head back and into the sky.
I am passenger on swift moving train racing over the miles like wind past this scene. It is slow and beautiful and fierce and fast and sad.
Pale blues give way to deeper shades. I try to remember. I must stir. I must wake. I must write it down.
Lost are those long slender days when pain was less known to these bones. Fists clenched but the days have slipped through. The decades are left, waylaid and unremembered.
With the darkening sky weariness settles in as my eyelids close. And the gentlest wisp of cloud carries even these memories away, tucking them safely into its billowed folds: past.