Divergence

Not the archetypal film about man versus bear.

Not the Robert Frost poem about two roads.

Instead, a token fell out of a drawer today from the precise moment my soul diverged and stretched between the tech world where my body sits and the natural world where my heart sits.  This little strip features my alter-ego Sheldon who was born when I was in middle school and his younger sister Lucy, as well as something resembling a mouse that is supposedly a dog.

Nearly 30 years ago, I was fresh out of college and a year into two years of editing library catalog cards on giant IBM printouts (I saw white and green stripes in my sleep) for a major publishing company.  Can you imagine anything more mind numbing than editing library catalog cards in a warehouse of 75 editor desks minus cubicle walls?  Lots of wondering if a coworker notices you have kale in your teeth after lunch or windblown hair after a break.  Even Dilbert had cubicle walls.  Then again, what else are a gaggle of people with English degrees supposed to do before the internet and the PC?

We had no dress code, so every time “The Suits” paid a surprise visit, staff from the actual Library of Congress in DC, our spines got a bit straighter and we thought extra hard and long about changing a comma to a semi-colon. Those were the days.

After 30 years sitting in front of a computer, I wish I understood higher math so I could go frolic in a divergenceless field.

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Old Visitors

Two long-buried poems from a few years back visit me in this moment to express my current truth. The haiku was from challenge to distill an essence of your entire life into 17 syllables.

Reflection

How surface tension holds the weight of the world
I will never know.
A heart resides submerged,
the reflection’s underside its ceiling
never fully exposed to light of day.
On the verge of drowning, the heart floats,
finds safety in leaving the body to ride
wind, trees, clouds and rain.
Freed from its moorings and misunderstandings,
the heart encounters a moss carpet, wild strawberries,
fir tree guardians,
drawing a mirage to guide it home.

~ Erin Waterman

My Life in 17 Syllables

My child arms open,
Find me among tall fir trees
Walking the stars home.

~ Erin Waterman

And a blessing for my daughter close to venturing out.

For The Traveler, by John O’Donohue

Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.

New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.

When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:

How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening in conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
You needed
To illuminate
Your way.

When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.

A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.

May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.

May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.

~ John O’Donohue ~

 

 

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Caper in Woods

Oceanspray having its own party during my latest caper in the woods. Apparently to be a true caper I would have needed to skip or frolic. I did not do so, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time away from the desk.

It amazes me how many items from the natural world have become commoditized as brands, so that if you google this plant name you get a large juice corporation or a nasal spray company.  It’s like Nature’s proprietary ownership today is tomorrow’s proprietary lawsuit. Humans seem like ridiculous beasts when viewed through that lens.

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Ode to Nature’s Fiber Artist

Spider is 8-legged and its body is like a figure-8. Thus, spider has been linked symbolically with eternity. Spider also makes one of the strongest materials known on earth. I revere spider’s craft.

A front door photo from fall

 

 

Respond to every call that excites your spirit. ~ Rumi

Where lowland is,
that’s where water goes. All medicine wants
is pain to cure.

Give your weakness
to One Who Helps.

Crying out loud and weeping are great resources.

The hard rain and wind
are ways the cloud has
to take care of us.

Be patient.
Respond to every call
that excites your spirit.

Ignore those that make you fearful
and sad, that degrade you
back toward disease and death.

(Excerpted from — Jelaluddin Rumi in Delicious Laughter translated by Coleman Barks)

 

 

Alongside nature, knitting excites my spirit. During what feels like very uncertain times (daughter leaving home for a year, social, environmental, political kookiness and sadness), I hold fast like spider to pulling strands together loop after loop.

Knitting is my simplicity and meditation practice. The tools cannot be more simple:  Sticks and yarn.

At Seattle Polish festival this week with daughter who wanted to be cropped out on blog

Responding to the call that excites my spirit, this year I have let go of 27 pounds from my physical being by mindless knitting instead of mindless eating and daily touch certainty in shaky ground.

I challenge myself to learn as much as I can about knitting and daily view a different podcast/YouTube channel by a knit designer/fiber artist in order to learn from those who are making a business of their fiber work and those who are equally passionate about the spider’s way.

Below is a list of some of my favorites, starting with the most stereotype-defying example I have seen of someone using knitting to serve others.  In fact, his service work inspired me to look into and apply to service opportunities in my region.  If you are in the Seattle area, you can check out this link to Knit for Life that works with nine area hospitals for weekly therapeutic knit programs.

Out of Hand

Kristy Glass Knits – Great interviews with fiber artists of all stripes

Melody Hoffman Mandarine’s  – Minimalist designer out of Latvia using all natural wools.

Yarngasm – Link is to her great tutorial for the brioche stitch I am trying with much patience to learn from various sources despite many attempts.

Fruity Knitting – Australian couple and daughter by way of Australia in Germany who knit and do great interviews and knitting cultures around the world segments.

Kammebornia – The most dreamy podcast I have seen that transports me to a place that feels like Heaven on Earth to me. A place that is grounded in nature and history, where everyone knits, philosophizes, drinks coffee, and beauty abounds. (A favorite winter episode where they talk about what I have been called many times about knitting = obsessed).

Abundant Earth Fiber – Natural fiber resource local to me, not a podcast

 

 

Bernoulli Shawl – Very Busy Monkey designs

Lace stitching does not show it’s fully glory until washed, but I could not resist attempting this Bernoulli shawl as nod to the Bernoulli principle that for some unknown reason my dad nicknamed me as a child.

 

Joji Locatelli’s Starting Point shawl nearly ready to join two halves.

 

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Freedom

As we celebrated Independence Day in the United States yesterday, I suddenly learned a profound lesson about independence I never knew about.  I must have been preoccupied with graduating from college, but I cannot believe this escaped my attention when so many freedom movements were coming to fruition during the end of the ’80s (South Africa, Solidarity in Poland, Berlin wall, et cetera.).  My question always has been, “Is freedom really freedom when obtained at the end of a gun?”

The Singing Revolution of Estonia in 1988.

And the Baltic Way of 1989.

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Bump On a Log

On a walk, something catches my attention like a dash across the corner of my eye. Sometimes I only really “see” once I return home to view a photo. In the moment, I think, “amazing fungus on a log.” But now I see a graduated structure from green life in top frame to firework of white to an underworld of sorts, brown, lifeless fern. My mind works in such a way that I see the entire cosmos in this image, coexisting stages of life and death in balance with white blast near center representing outward movement of everything being birthed.

Everyone can see something different in a single image. Bump on a log versus creative visionary. Apparently my vision does not allow for a bump on a log.

A few more pics from same walk to remember life is beautiful.

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Magnet Wisdom

What do refrigerator magnets say about a person? Let’s find out.

(In lieu of writing some long-winded directive to be a magnet for all you want to see in the world. I’ll leave that to the law of attraction experts, because I’ve thrown in the towel on understanding that).

 

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