Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Time of the Year, Time of Life

A bloody downer today.

The legs were appalling, like concrete. I was flitting around (I use flitting in an optimistic way, I don't really flit anymore) and had a few errands to run and after the 3rd errand I kind of came to a screeching halt. I was the one screeching. In fear, truly. I just knew I couldn't carry on for a minute more. I drove, fearful, to my ocean. And took a pic. And cried and cried and cried. A total snorfling pity pot. A mess.

Luckily there was no one else around. It was a wet blanket of everything wrong. The madness (I think) of getting an animal when this seizure of immobility grabs hold of me, the sadness of missing my last dear departed Ansa, old age, my effing limitations, my pain, my this, that and tho other. And no improvement in sight.

Woe is me, woe is the world around me.

Now look at that ocean. Stop sniveling. It'll be here long after you're gone. Long after everyone's gone. We are stardust. Make the most of yourself. Accept Accept Accept

Life is not hopeless.

Work with what you can.

I came back into my building, leaning on the safety bars along the the halls and a friend saw me and hustled me into her apartment and told me to sit down, put my feet up and vent all I wanted and for as long as I wanted.

And I did.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Life By The Numbers

As I age, I find more so than ever, that numbers take on more significance. I suppose they always have taken some prominence in my life as I was (and still am) an accountant during my survival years. I don't use the word survival lightly. How often do many of us work away at something that is basically a kind of spirit destruction for the artist within, toiling, collecting the cheque, toiling some more, looking for better toiling and so on and so forth.

In those toiling years. I squeezed a lot in of the creative nature. Around the edges of my life. There was never enough time to express that aspect of myself then. So I pack it in now, even as I'm slowing down.

I was sorting my weekly pills into the dispenser this morning. A weekly task. It takes 15 minutes. About 30 pills a day including the supplements of niacin and turmeric and magnesium et al. It's a slow process as I tend to drop the little guys on the floor or on my lap. Not so much today but some days. You know.

We are forgetful as we age. I was supposed to go to the opera with a friend today but I think she forgot and I was glad. It was her first opera and it was probably my 6th time seeing it. Madame Butterfly. Not that I minded, I love it, but the whole getting ready thing, organizing thing. Well, you know. And then a kind of mandatory coffee thing after. I just wanted to be home. In my PJs doing creative stuff.

But I played the magnificent Humming Chorus from it and it never fails to make me cry. So cry I did. Sublime.


When I was desperate for work in the old days, or desperate for anything, a shaman advised me to face east in the dawn and hold out my hands and tell the universe I was ready for work. And then go out, broke as maybe, and give something to a far needier person than I. It always worked. I never expected anything from my actions, I should add. It was a spontaneous thing. On Thursday I gave my 80 year old cleaning woman a small raise. She never asked for it, it was just that she takes care of me in little extra ways. She was over the moon. She kept saying: you like my work, you like my work! And on Friday a totally unexpected project came into my inbox, one I will definitely enjoy and will be compensated very well for. A referral. Something oddly numerically karmic about that.

And a very odd thing. I say odd. Because I remember thinking a while back when a man I knew who was dying looked up a high school sweetheart and they totally fell in love again and she was with him for his last couple of years. I remember thinking, she went into this knowing it would all end in tragedy and heartbreak. Could I do that?

But the heart does what it does. And the brain can't stop it. And recently I met a man who is dying and I want to pull away. Now. Immediately. And the heart says absolutely not. I can't explain it. But now I understand. Numbers again. Do they matter?

My Christmas cactus. A little confused (like me)



Thursday, November 07, 2019

Enough With The Socks Already! And Postcards!

So here are the pair of socks I'm crazy about. The phone camera doesn't do them justice, they need to be taken out in bright sunshine and thrown on someone's feet and photographed properly. The yarn was a gift from my niece and I was delighted that there's enough left over to knit her a pair of these too.

In other news - I love postcards. I get quite a few, though nothing like Daughter who sends and receives 100s every year from around the world. Part of a huge group worldwide that exchange PCs from their countries of origin following (usually) a theme.

So in the past three days I've received three and here they are:

The first one is from my sister who spent the day in my favourite area of West Cork where I spent so much time myself

The second is from Grandgirl, who spent the weekend in Dallas Texas (I know!) at the grace and favour of her friend from kindergarten who had a business meeting there and treated her - these young 'uns all growed up and having business meetings when I pushed their swings in the playground. I am so impressed though that she took the time out to write and mail this PC to her grandma.


The third is from my school pal (friends since we were 11) who has beaten a deadly form of cancer and travels a lot and never, ever fails to send me a postcard. This is from Avignon and she planted an ear worm by reminding me of how we would deliberately sing Sur Le Pont Avignon in atrocious French accents at our French teacher in school and fake puzzlement at her enragement. So 3 days now and I have it stuck in my head. Revenge from Soeur LePaul.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

My Happy Place

Interesting day.

I was at a business meeting earlier where it was discussed that a property, which is being severely mismanaged by a bunch of yahoos (my private words) needs to be taken over and run properly. And I outrageously said: "You know what? This should be taken over by a bunch of women and run successfully!" And Lard Thunderin', didn't everyone (including males) vote all in favour. I tell you in all my born days this was a first. I should mention the above yahoos are all male and elderly and adverse to any type of innovation or heaven forbid technology. I am not an ageist by a long shot, but sometimes new female blood is needed. And these females are young and energetic.

I had packed my knitting. Mainly because I'm on this mad sock-knitting kick so decided after the meeting I would head off to my happy place, my beach, as the day was glorious.

So here it is in all its glory:

And here's my knitting bag and another sock on the go:

And yes, Gigi, I'm wearing my socks:

Sunshine on my feet as winter nudges her way onto our bones.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Behold the Sock

So simple, so straightforward.

You've got to be kidding.

Have you ever tried knitting one (make that two, you can't go around with one sock now can you?)

It's been years since I've knit a pair as I'm so aware of the work involved.

Engineering and mathematical work.

You heard that right.

Calculating the yarn involved, the size needles (allowing for individual tension) the size of foot, the matching the yarn to the individual socks.

And you haven't got out your five needles yet. Yes, 5. To make that sock round with no seams and ahem, no holes.

So with trepidation I began and you know? Firing up those tottering brain cells has been, well, challenging. Sock knitting is all mathematics and engineering. Shaping the yarn, making and creating and decreasing stitches. I tried listening to podcasts, but nah, can't do. All this fierce concentration is laid at the feet (got that, ha!) of my socks. And there's no room for listening to anything.

But watching it all take shape on the needles is a complete and utter meditation.

I can almost hear my internal computer recharging itself and new pathways forming. Seriously.

Here they are: one completed, one getting there. I love the colour-ways. Like dawn coming up over the hill opposite my window.

And yes, I will produce another photo of them on my feet. I am unstoppable now. I am surveying my yarn stashes and imagining where it will eventually walk.

May the sock force be with me.


PS those darker specks you see on the yellow, etc. are part of the yarn colour-ways. Tiny flecks of the brown on the other colours. It looks beautiful in reality.