to stay afloat

October 17 shell

If you ride passage in a river
watch as it grinds away at the bank
carving a bend, push your legs out
reducing the chance of injury,
turn with the current into
deeper waters where a pool widens
and traveling, slows – you think
your way down stream, plan how
to stay afloat, resist being pulled
under a log or high-ended
on a sandbar – you have taken
the river, made it your own.

~excerpt from “How to be a Pacifist” by local poet, Carla Shafer

I’m back to knitting at the corner of 16th and Taylor, after three days in Canada.  I was ready to stop knitting for the year, but the weather is balmy out–60 degrees today, and “not being in the mood” feels like the wrong reason to stop.  As two East Indian women told me today while driving by, “Weather good–you knit.  Weather not good, you don’t knit.”

Mushroom season! These were growing under r. and c.’s bushes.

Several people have asked me lately if I’m knitting for a political cause.  One woman even thought I might be doing a knit-a-thon to raise funds for Lowell Elementary School.  (All energy must be expended for a practical purpose!)  A brown van crested the hill, and the driver jumped out, leaving the van precariously perched at the stop sign and strode over to talk to me.  I wanted to tell him to park his van and not block the intersection, but held my tongue.   “Bellingham’s response to Christo!  This made my day!” the man named Steve told me.  (Christo constructs sublime, large-scale installations like buildings wrapped in shiny fabric or temporary silky fences stretching across miles of ranch land.  See the wonderful documentary “Running Fence.”)

October 17 yellow leaf


Ty rode up to the corner on a tricycle, a blue balloon spilling from his mouth.  He upgraded to a bicycle but after raising the seat too high, fell in a crumpled heap on the sidewalk.  I watched to make sure he was okay,  relieved when he got back on the bike and rode for home.



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