Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Day 68: A big step

Tomorrow, Rick and Kiv and I fly up to Seattle.  Her college orientation is on Thursday, and then we have a day to poke around before she moves into the dorms at Seattle U on Saturday.  Rick and I will hang out on Sunday, partly because we haven't had a lot of time the two of us lately, and partly just in case there are any last-minute things we all forgot to pack or ship, and then we head home, and our younger daughter will stay behind.

I have to say, having done this once, that there is something weird about that walking away moment.  It's exactly the right thing, it's expected and exciting; it's not like it's even the first time we've left her or she's left us.  But this step feels bigger, somehow.  Bigger in all the right ways.  Bigger like she gets to figure out how she likes to be in the world without seeing herself reflected in our eyes each night.  Bigger like she gets to figure out so many things about herself.  Bigger like each year she goes back to school is one step closer to that day when coming home on breaks and holidays isn't the automatic thing to do, because she will have this huge expansive life of her own.  And we'll have an important place in that life, but an important place among other important things.  And that's all as it should be.  But that walking away moment, when we turn to go and she turns to stay.  Whew.  That's a big one.

As I think I mentioned, there was a time when I was going to go on retreat (cancelled in the Tilly time), and although I realized I wasn't going to go before I had to say it, I wouldn't have posted during the days I was there.  (Silent retreat and all.)  When I made the commitment to my magpie year, I knew that there might be periods like that.  I'd been thinking about the retreats required by my teacher training, but I've decided that I'd like to treat these five days as a different kind of retreat.  I'd like to treat them as a time to be fully present for this transition, without narrating it in my head in preparation for writing about it.  If it turn out that I have something I really need or want to share, I will.  But what I'm saying is, I'm giving myself a spaciousness here, with as few obligations as possible.  So I'll see y'all on the flip side.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Day 67: axolotl

The NYT published this poem in its Magazine on Sunday, and I just loved it.

   - ire'na lara silva

          little warrior
almost imperceptably
from so much healing
          how many regrown limbs
          how many repaired organs
even precious
     brain tissue
          created anew
teach me this
          little warrior
how you remain
     tender and
          soft and eternal
          in the face of struggle
how is it the healing
     has already begun
          even before the wound

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Day 66: Done!!

So, as I wrote earlier, I finished this about a week and a half ago.  I took the finishing in alternating bits - weave in some ends, knit squares together, weave in more ends, knit strips together, weave in some ends, knit the sides, weave in the last ends.  That helped a lot with making all of the ends seem less daunting.  And today, after taking Kiv to Target to get the last (almost - there will be more Target shopping once we get to Seattle, for things we don't want to pack like light bulbs and school supplies) of her packing list, we finally had time to take a few photos.  I think you can see that she was humoring me.  And now it's folded up and packed away.  We leave midday on Wednesday. 

The details again.  This was The Shieling (the link is to my Rav project page), Kate Davies' spectacular blanket pattern.  The colors and yarn were so perfect for the pattern that I decided to forego messing around, and ordered the yarn from Kate.  I used 31 balls of Milarrochy Tweed (a wool/mohair blend).  I have bits and bobs left over, but only one full ball over the amount called for in the pattern (and that full ball is in the main color, Hirst).  The pattern is well-written and easy to follow, and honestly, it was a fun knit - it was only the timetable (and the fact that it's a blanket, so there's a LOT of it) that added a certain je ne sais quois to the whole experience. 

But it's done, and now my girl will have a hug to take with her to college.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Day 65: Thwarted

I had a whole plan for posting today. Either it was going to be photos of the blanket before it gets packed up, or the start of a whole series of musings that have been churning in my mind lately. I made a good start on the day, even.  I stretched first thing (because otherwise it doesn’t happen). I got to the barn to ride at a fairly reasonable hour (because otherwise it doesn’t happen). Of course, it’s yucky hot, so D and I were happy to be done - she rolled in turnout while I slammed water, and then we both were grateful for shade in her stall. Then home, where after a quick shower I lugged my cushion outside in the shade and sat for a half an hour (because if I don’t do it first thing it doesn’t happen).

Are you noticing a theme?  The sheer number of things that I can only seem to make myself do if I get after them first thing in the day is alarming, given that there are only so many “first thing”
hours available.

After lunch, I sat down like a disciplined human to get through what I hoped would be two piles of grading. And my students broke me. Honest to Pete, folks. I ask for analysis, and I get something odd and random. People said that words were adjectives “because it can stand alone” (not a sufficient test to ensure you have an adjective).  They said words were nouns because they were things (unacceptable), or verbs because they were actions (equally unacceptable). Or they cited tests that are useful (can be intensified), but clearly didn’t actually try to apply them (because “abatement” can’t be intensified!!). And one kept telling me that something “preceded after” something else. I made it through the pile and then gave up. I couldn’t take another one.

I am now lying on the couch, trying not to look at the pile of papers waiting for me, and afraid to boot up my computer, because there’s grading online, too. I’m writing this on my phone, which is suboptimal, but there is no grading on my phone.

Tomorrow is another day. Maybe there will be more hours in the morning this time.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Day 64: Sneak peek

This has actually been done for a bit, but there’s been no time for photos. Looks like I made that deadline!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Day 63: A perfect quote

A friend of mine, upon hearing of Tilly's loss, just sent me a fantastic quote from Edna St. Vincent Millay.  I thought I'd share:

The presence of that absence is everywhere.

Isn't that the perfect way to put it?

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Day 62: An honest horse

I was mulling over a post I want to write about Disco (which will be forthcoming), when the phrase "an honest horse" came to mind.  She is an honest horse.  When people say that, I take it to mean that the horse they're talking about is out there, doing their best, and if they spook or don't do what you ask, it's not out of malice.  It's honest.  They were scared, or they didn't know what to do, or they were hurting.  It means that even if you have a bad ride, or (knock on wood) get hurt, it's not because the horse was trying to get you off or hurt you.

As that came to mind, I found myself thinking - I wish people were honest people, in that same sense.

And then came the very interesting thought: I actually think they usually are. 

Isn't that interesting?  To consider that, maybe, most people, when they do something hurtful - even really hurtful - are acting out of fear or ignorance or inability, rather than true malice.  I think that's interesting because it so often feels like malice, especially when it's a repeated behavior.  Especially when it's a really damaging behavior that we have no control over, and maybe can't even remove ourselves from the influence of. 

I'll be honest.  I know that I've hurt people.  (OK, that's a ridiculous way to say that - I'm human, of COURSE I've hurt people.)  But if I'm being straight with myself (instead of mean and self-judge-y and setting myself up to fail), it's usually an honest hurt.  It comes out of my own ignorance or fear or inability.  (Is this resonating with the hurt people hurt people thing from last week, or what?)

But (still being honest), when someone else hurts me - especially when, outwardly, it's actively directed at me and who I am and what I do - it feels like malice.  It doesn't feel like an honest action.  (I also feel that way when D's being particularly troublesome - it can feel personal.  But it's easier for me to step back and realize that it's not, in fact, personal when it's a horse instead of an adult human being.)

I think I need to think more about this.  It's a very unformed sort of thought.  But it feels both true and useful in some important way.