Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's all about me

It's all about me - but only in this blog. Elsewhere in my life, other people and other things take precedence. I listen. I smile. I cry. I work. I sleep in the recliner. I eat (a lot). I listen. I knit and crochet. I play on the computer. I listen.

What's really nice is when someone listens to me...when someone takes the time and interest to ask about me. Most of the people I know talk a lot about themselves, about their interests, about what happened in their day, about what they have accomplished during the day or during their lives. I don't talk fast. I don't interrupt (not often and with very few people). By the time I find an opening to speak, the conversation has gone far beyond me. So, I just don't talk.

That's why bits of my life just go unnoticed. Occasionally, I will talk during supper about who I saw at the shop or what new yarns arrived. Mostly, I smile and listen to others who speak faster and interrupt each other and talk loudly and trade stories. I'm interested in these things about which they talk. That's how I get most of my news and gossip.

However, conversation as an art is not part of this life. Take Facebook, for instance. We presume that others are interested in pieces of our lives. And, some people elicit more comments in response than others. We learn a lot about each other - unless we are quiet and just listen/read. Sometimes, it's hard to slip your thoughts into the flow of the world. Twitter, cell phones, text messages, blogs, Facebook, email, voice mail, IMs, and I'm sure new ways are being used that I don't know. The world is full of sound bytes and abbreviated word bytes and short takes.

I recently googled a friend named Mary Stuart, and a lot of the findings showed photos of the late Queen of Scotland. If your name is not Mary Stuart, I wonder how much you know of her story. If we use all these short forms of communications, what happens to our stories? We become like entries on a spreadsheet. You fill in the columns with information and PRESTO you are known. Stories are more than information; stories are metaphors and flashbacks to other persons' lives. Stories are universal. My thoughts and feelings at a particular time may fit your thoughts and feelings at a totally different kind of time in your life. Our concluding resolutions may be similar; our decisions may flow in totally opposite directions; but for a few moments, a few words, a few feelings, we were the same.

I like the stories - the facial expressions, the obvious feelings, the empathy and sympathy and antipathy, the way we are surprised by the storyline and the characters, and I like the endings that are usually filled with hope. I want you to hear my story, to see my grimace when I am sorting out what I felt and remembering what was said. I want you to laugh with me, cry with me, and be a part of my story.

A professor gave his students a one question final exam - pass or fail the course - some psychology thing. What is the name of the woman who comes in as you are leaving to clean this room? No one could answer.

What is your story? Does anyone know your name? Do you listen?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Philosophy or Psychology

The purchase and stashing of yarn creates an interesting discussion between those who stash and their spouses. We who stash are accused of irresponsible spending and ignoring the laws of cubic space when we think that new purchases will fit in the space already allotted but seemingly full. Spouses are accused of not understanding and insensitivity to art, color and tactile sense.

I personally think that the division is between philosophy and psychology. Philosophy for all touting that it is reasonable is tailored to each person. A perception of what is art to me - my philosophy of art - is mine, not anyone else's. Each skein of yarn represents a piece of art to me - art in the touch and sight of it as well as in the vision of what it might become.

For spouses, the issue is "Are you crazy?" Another unreasonable "science" but different from philosophy. The answer to the question does not depend on what an individual may think but with what the DMMA IV defines as abnormal. The purchase of art is not abnormal much less crazy. Therefore, the question of craziness is answered with "No."

My philosophy of yarn is that I need at least one ball of each kind and brand of yarn in the world - at least one. I cannot judge the usefulness or the art-ability of any without comparing it to others. Plus, I must have a variety of colors in order to judge the quality of color and dyeing. So, I accumulate the necessary parts for appreciation of the art of yarn.

So far, this appreciation has covered one wall of my wall and flowed onto the floor in tubs and cloth boxes and baskets and canvas bags. My UFOs (unfinished objects) are multiplying as I just can't resist trying the new yarn (or new needles that just arrived to be compared). Occasionally, I must sort through the jungle and jumble to find needles that I need and pull the UFO off, tie it through with string and restore it to the UFO basket. Meanwhile, the freed needles immediately begin what might well be another UFO in a few days.

My spouse's question has changed to, "Is there a path in your study so that I can get to your computer if I need it while you're gone?" "Yes, but watch your step."

Peace and happy needling.

Stitches, Food, Tired.

It's hot as blazes in the sun here in Atlanta...nice on the back porch.

The pup, Ruby, is wonderful. She and I had a nap this morning. I'm in love.

Stitches South was interesting. My first class was Making the Most of Self Striping Yarn, and I thoroughlyl enjoyed that. I learned about counting stitches on a swatch for certain colors and figuring out how they would fall in a pattern. Then we began a mitered square cap, which I will finish later. I love mitered squares...especially with short length self-striping yarn. Otherwise, they just look funny.

Elise, who taught the first workshop on Knitting one Below and presented a fashion show of pieces done with that technique, was a personable and thoroughly human woman with great ideas. The guy who was her model was also fun. She wanted to show us the backside of the sweater he was modeling and pulled it up in front - now mind you, the room is full of women of all ages. A delighted hum went around the room as his midriff showed. Elise turned almost purple and had him turn around to the back. As she pulled the back up, she realized that his underwear would show a bit at the top of his pants; so she quickly pulled the sweater back down, we all laughed - including the model. At the luncheon afterward, he again modeled the sweater and was laughing along with all these women. Such a good sport.

The Market opened at 5 pm and I was there - until 8 pm. I had done about one third of the show, when I decided to go eat. No eateries within walking distance except a sports bar and the hotel restaurant. I ate in the bar area. Since Atlanta has a no smoking rule, that was pleasant, but the noise and laughter got louder and louder.

Friday morning, I slept through most of my class; so I gave it up for lost and had a long shower. Then I went back to the market. I was somewhat disappointed with the Market - no really good sales, and I think nearly everyone was looking for wholesale prices at what is apparently a retail show. A few places had very good deals,and some places had yarns I had not seen before. I was going to buy some bison yarn, but it was $80 plus a skein. The muskox was similarly priced. Both were very soft, but the muskox fiber was fragile - not suitable for sox - most used in lace shawls and scarves and such. The bison was much more durable and soft and came in two different weights. The dealer was also selling bear hides, tanned and brushed to a magnificent softness.

I was hungry; so I purchased a soy/meat hamburger and coke and sat down. Across the aisle was a table with huge bundles of yarn piled shoulder high to me. I kept staring at the gorgeous colors. Finally, I went over to look - sock yarn - over a thousand yards of sock yarn in each bundle. So, I found a great color and bought it. Then I struggled back to my room with a bag of books and a bundle of yarn.

My friends arrived at the hotel and we went to eat - soooo good. Ted's Montana steak house - and Wow! What a steak! We'll be having that for supper tonight.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Pleasures and Chores

No deep theological thoughts. No fiber art. Just a few ordinary comments about my day. I'm doing laundry - always too much. I'm not breathing well because of all the pollen and other stuff in the air with the wind blowing. I've just had a Dairy Queen chocolate malt - small - following an Andy's hamburger (so good). Found a parking place at Wal-Mart and bought cereal and toilet begats the other.

However, this morning I was pleased to see the eagle picking at the latest catch - in a tree just across the creek. The eagle is growing. Mama Osprey was sitting very still on her nest during this. They will need to guard their eggs and young offspring quite well with such a neighbor.

And, I saw large fish jumping, people kayaking smoothly up the creek. Bright sunshine encouraged me to finish putting away the Christmas garland that has been on the back porch in garbage bags.

Plus I found the Easter baskets and empty plastic eggs that I will stuff for my friends for our traditional Easter Egg hunt. Not sure what I'll put in the eggs this year. My puzzle pieces are too large for the eggs; so they may have to contain witty and wise sayings. No one eats (or says they eat) candy around here. One year I put foam stick-on letters in the eggs, and everyone sat around making words and swapping letters. Hmmm. Maybe I'll divide the sayings into halves and let them put the sayings together.

all in all - a good day...except for a couple of very bad coughing spells at all the wrong times. Allergies are not good.