Thursday, January 28, 2010

message in the snow

(about a year ago, i started an odd collection of short poems all focused on the sheer agony of falling in love...most are written on scraps of paper, or along the margins of whatever i happen to be reading at the time...this one was written in the snow)

i traced a heart
in a patch
of newly fallen snow
in which i inscribed
your name
and mine

all my hopes
and fears
in one thin line

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

divine intervention

i will not and cannot ever claim to be an atheist, because i do not deny the existence of God. and, while i continue to question the gods of our religious imaginings, i believe that there must be in all this vast and random expanse of a universe some power greater than the sum of human existence.

it has been a firm belief for most of my life that there are beings who move among us, not to test us or pass judgment over our actions, but to challenge us to find our better selves. the selfless acts we perform daily toward each other without expectation of reward or even acknowledgment, are reflections of their influence in our lives. holding a door for a stranger, helping someone with a package, offering up a seat on a crowded train – each occasion a potential brush with divinity. and while there are holy schools of religious ideology that tell us we should act at these moments as though God is watching us, recording our actions, i prefer to believe that we should instead accept them as opportunities to move closer to our ideal selves.

i started today by stepping (briefly) into a frigid Montreal morning, in search of divine wisdom or some infinitesimally small signal from the cosmos that there is goodness, and happiness, and love enough to make life worth living for even one more day. pulling on multiple layers of warm clothing and a borrowed jacket and boots, i braced myself for the inevitable sting of a mid-winter morning – my soul heavy with doubt, and guilt, and regret at the thoughts that presently reside there – and stepped lightly into the entryway of the apartment building that is at least temporarily “home”.

the most amazing thing about these beings in our midst, is that they do not always have to be present in order for their influence to be felt in our lives. perched atop the hallway radiator, next to the orderly row of residential mailboxes, was a small, white package addressed to me, in my borrowed country, in my borrowed home. a gift, a challenge, and a reminder from someone i have never met face to face that there is divinity all around us, and that God must certainly exist, because his angels move among us each day.

(i am writing B. thank you)

i've seen spirits

i've met angels

touched creations

beautiful and wondrous

- tracy chapman

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

poems found in an old notebook...


cherry petals fall
like giant tears

from some distant
and mighty god

old and grey and heavy

blossoms bear the blush
of awakened life

breathing in

more powerful than human nature
desire stronger than the urge to sin
instinct inclined to falling in

but before all that

before first smile, first touch, first kiss
baby-breath whispered sentiment
natal expression of this newborn thing
a slap, a cry, and the lingering sting

instinct inclined to this natural thing

loving you is like first nature
loving you is like breathing in

Friday, June 05, 2009

knitting surprises

knitting Elizabeth Zimmermann's "baby surprise jacket" is truly an exercise in faith. at some point in the process (it's amazing how quickly it occurs), you begin to question the design. about halfway through, you begin to question the designer. if you are the type who seeks ultimate understanding in all things (like me), you might eventually find yourself questioning the very nature of the universe - trying to imagine this object folded into a single sweater brought to mind quantum physics, string theory, and all that stuff that i usually consider to be the limit of my understanding...and that's coming from someone with a PhD in 'brain science.' EZ was a mad genius. she was Einstein, and Stephen Hawkings, and the Buddah wrapped into one unassuming package.

i am not certain yet who will be the recipient of my bsj and the coordinating Saartje's Booties. the colorway is named in honor of my boyfriend who shrank the hat i lovingly made him with the first skein i spun from that batch of dyed roving. there is so much personal interest in this yarn , that i am tempted to fold them delicately between sheets of tissue paper and tuck them away for the day when we have our own baby surprise.

Monday, June 01, 2009

things that remind...

i started knitting in an earnest effort to counter the stress of being in grad school. my very special someone supported this idea and even funded much of my early yarn purchases. spinning followed shortly after, and he also welcomed that adventure, purchasing my first 1/2 lb of fiber and the only professionally made drop spindle i own (the other spindles, i've made myself). my spinning wheel was purchased at a particularly difficult time, and he also paid for that - although, there was a large measure of guilt involved in that gesture, which i feel no shame in having taken advantage of.

in the beginning, i knitted because it was fun to learn and to watch the clicking of sticks magically turn into things i could wear. okay, so i made more scarves than most people would need in a lifetime, but i learned from that experience that my love is more with the yarn than with the actual finished items.

in the intervening years, i've definitely spun more than i've knitted, piling all of the finished yarn into decorative baskets and arranging skeins artistically on shelves. it pains me to think of sacrificing even a single yard to a knitted item. is this what a mother feels when letting go of adult children?

i've shared my home in the last two years with a very fat cat, who i am not afraid to say keeps me sane on most days, and who has become the object of my greatest love. as a gesture of his affection, he likes to leave "gifts" (and by this i mean dead things) in shoes. having been once traumatized by this habit, i routinely shake out my footwear before putting them on.

my cat, my Cupcake, is not fond of the typical cat toys purchased in the pet section of your local department store. he likes to play with my things, especially my knitted swatches. as i lay in bed last night, he was planning a sneak-attack on my most recent swatch, which he'd knocked onto the floor minutes after it came off the needle. i drifted off to sleep, smiling at his antics.

as i walked past the kitchen door this morning, what to my wondering eyes should appear.....?

he is the most special, most precious thing i have ever received, and i want to thank my special someone for sharing his cat with me. thanks, love.

p.s. here he is, relaxing in the space of the lower shelf normally reserved for knitting books and magazines (they were removed for cataloging in my Ravelry library). you have to love a cat!

Friday, February 22, 2008

little bits of love

my sweetie pie emailed me this picture of his nephew wearing the jacket i made for his first Christmas. i totally screwed up and switched the sleeves (so that the button flaps face the wrong direction). i've been assured that no one else would notice it. welcome to the world, kid!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

time out

i am working on the final draft of my thesis which has to get to my dissertation committee by friday. and i still have not confirmed a job (but i'm working on that)...and i need to pack and move in three weeks. i am not really complaining. it feels good for once to be stressed out while i'm making progress. bongo knot will resume...once we find a place to settle.