This week’s blogging has been a bit patchy because I’ve been offline, dogsitting a geriatric dog, Annie, who sat out in the rain morosely when I left the house to run errands. I finally felt so guilty that I decided my to-do list could wait. I tickled Annie’s belly and threw her faceless toy for her instead. I also started a delicious new novel called “Broken for You” which is inspiring me to write more, and better.
The Bellingham Herald sent Andy, a photographer, to shoot pictures of my knit. I’m not sure what he’ll do with 500 pictures of a lady knitting, but that’s his problem. He stood on the end of the bench with his giant camera, like a stork with a very long beak, waiting for the fishies to emerge. Of course, people were a bit intimidated, to say the least! One girl took a picture of me on her phone to give to her grandma. A couple of cyclists from Seattle stopped and talked for a while. I was impressed that Andy stayed the whole hour and 40 minutes while I unwound the line down the hill, knit for an hour, and wound the line up the hill. He usually takes pictures of sports events, so this was very different assignment for him.
A blond realtor and her daughter pulled up and talked. The woman was on the way to her open house, and she said my line was leading people up the hill to it. Her daughter’s smile was bigger than her face as they drove away, and I thought about how that was payment enough for me. My joy barometer surging. A small inchworm suddenly appeared on my pants, looping its way towards the knit line. This is the second time I’ve been visited by an inchworm, and it reminded me to focus less on my goals, and more on action in the present. I have been feeling so impatient with almost every aspect of my life. Sometimes it is painful to have big dreams…My friend Leslie recently told me that scientists have discovered tiny butterfly wings inside of caterpillars. That’s how I feel, like a worm crawling around, my wings tucked inside me.
A neighbor was out pulling dandelions….His wife recently found out she has cancer, their dreams shattering and forming themselves into a strange, new shape. How peaceful they are in spite of it. Almost as if the awareness of mortality has made them more aware of what deeply matters, of this short, sweet life as a gift. They have this poem in their poetry altar…
The Seven Of Pentacles
By Marge Piercy
Under a sky the color of pea soup
she is looking at her work growing away there
actively, thickly like grapevines or pole beans
as things grow in the real world, slowly enough.
If you tend them properly, if you mulch, if you water,
if you provide birds that eat insects a home and winter food,
if the sun shines and you pick off caterpillars,
if the praying mantis comes and the ladybugs and the bees,
then the plants flourish, but at their own internal clock.
Connections are made slowly, sometimes they grow underground.
You cannot tell always by looking what is happening.
More than half the tree is spread out in the soil under your feet.
Penetrate quietly as the earthworm that blows no trumpet.
Fight persistently as the creeper that brings down the tree.
Spread like the squash plant that overruns the garden.
Gnaw in the dark and use the sun to make sugar.
Weave real connections, create real nodes, build real houses.
Live a life you can endure: Make love that is loving.
Keep tangling and interweaving and taking more in,
a thicket and bramble wilderness to the outside but to us
interconnected with rabbit runs and burrows and lairs.
Live as if you liked yourself, and it may happen:
reach out, keep reaching out, keep bringing in.
This is how we are going to live for a long time: not always,
for every gardener knows that after the digging, after the planting,
after the long season of tending and growth, the harvest comes.
May 4 Sunday
Hugs from D. and C. I only rolled the line across one street–it was raining and I felt justified in taking it easy since it was Sunday, afterall. I met an artist named Judy. She said that she liked “mindless knitting” like mine, the kind that didn’t require crazy amounts of concentration such as required to make a sweater or socks. I like the sound of a mindlessness practice. There is freedom in not concentrating too hard, letting my attention rest on whatever presents itself.