What I am reading: The Empathy Exams, Leslie Jamison — The Tao of Raven: An Alaska Native Memoir, Ernestine Hayes — Dancing Bears, Witold Szablowski.
What I just finished : The School of Essential Ingredients, Erica Bauermeister — Devotions, Mary Oliver — Songs of Willow Frost, Jamie Ford.
What I am knitting: A vest out of maize-colored Rowan Felted Tweed. A Churchmouse Yarn cowl pattern, wildly adapted to what I had in my yarn bag. An orchid-colored Alexandra’s Airplane scarf out of Rowan Kid Silk Haze and beaded with pink iridescent micro-beads.
What I am writing: Draft #20 of a personal essay piece, about to be submitted.
You get the picture: books, yarn, needles, paper. Last weekend my cousin and I went to an estate sale, early in the morning while the dew was still shivering on the cherry blossoms. We parked by a stone archway and stepped into a long room anchored by a walk-in fireplace, fully ablaze. I wandered this old farmhouse, stripped bare and crackling with story. When I returned to the front room the owner was saying “It just got away from us.” I fingered a chipped bowl full of scissors. My heart broke around the edges.
There is letting go and there is not keeping up. I want to be the former, smart and brave and realistic when the time comes. Recently the time has come for certain things: clothes I will never wear, shoes I cannot walk in anymore. And books. And furniture.
I sense I am in a race with myself, a new look at the future — to not be caught short of sense and burdened by stuff. Last year’s health scares just simply brought home that there is not an endless stretch ahead. So what do I really need each day?
Books, yarn, needles, paper works every corner of my brain, now that I have it back inside my head. Everything is portable and can be pulled from the same bag. Perhaps a toothbrush would be good.
And the people that love me, that are on this journey with me? I will have toothbrushes for all of you, too.
Ten months and counting from that double-whammy last year. I am learning to pack a bag of the essential ingredients and let the rest go.
2 thoughts on “Essentials.”
It is positive thinking that encourages me to read your wonderful emails. And, the result of which wind up as positive results. You sound wonderful. Arlene Craig
Lovely piece. Makes me want to sort, seek joy and take up knitting. And submit!