Friday, February 27, 2009

My Elbow's Free!

I got part of my cast taken off yesterday.

And that's all I have time to say. I'm off doing things.

You know, like flexing my elbow.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Unsolicited Opinion: Worldwide Lent

I will preface this by sharing with you what I said to one of my friends last night: "This is America. Everyone's allowed to have an opinion, even if it is completely unfounded." Do I really believe this? No. Do I have an unfounded opinion that I believe it is my right to share? To quote another American: "You betcha!"

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm reading a book set in India. I once ran out of an Indian literature class. Of course, that was unrelated to the literature and more related to the fact that I thought I was going to throw up on my neighbor, but that class did make uncomfortable. We mostly read Salman Rushdie but our professor (Indian himself) also wisely informed us in Indian history and culture. We watched a movie called Earth that is a deeply disturbing, but beautiful movie about a group of friends affected by the partition of India in 1947. It is graphic enough to shock a room full of college students into caring about the subject matter they were studying. India is not only Bollywood. I will never, ever forget the image of a train filled with murdered people.

I know I'm getting a little heavy, but this class broadened my world. I had never thought of India much. Now? I have my unfounded opinions. I want to see with my own eyes this place with its sweeping landscapes, unusual beauty, and crowded cities. I have thought a lot about partition and neighbors dragging each other into their streets to kill them only because of a little matter of religion (there is never a little matter of religion, I think gravely). And every time I pick up a book set in India I am a little afraid, a little nervous as I get acquainted with the characters. There is much potential in these characters (as in all of us) to be both very likeable and frighteningly capable of disturbing acts. And there's also bound to be some magical realism, which is why I keep picking up the books. I like magical realism, especially in adult books.

Today is Ash Wednesday. It is the beginning of my favorite Christian season. I like the act of giving up something, of fasting for a while before you get to say "Alleluia" again.

So I think that India is not so far from any of us, really, and that our world is getting ever more connected and we are able to identify with each other now more than ever before. There is a wealth of information (and misinformation, we must be careful) out there for us, and with books and movies and personal blogs and websites to go through there is no excuse for us to be so isolated. We were not created to be isolated. We were created to delve deeper, to understand, and, eventually, to come to an Alleluia together.

(This is my magical realism: the repetition of the Christian seasons.)


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

From the Wonderfully Obnoxious Cacophony of Family to Being Quiet at Home with the Dog

My family is often a seething organism of laughter and noise, as evidenced in this picture:

Contrary to the photographic evidence, I did not create the problem by talking. The problem was created by the tall young thing behind me, the one on the left with the smirk on his face. Are you ever too old to wrestle with your brother while taking family pictures? I begin to wonder...

On a related note, the above "young thing" and I had a long discussion Sunday about the difference between snark and irony. I contended that many of his comments were merely snarky and therefore unproductive and, however intelligent, easily disregarded. He contended that he did not care.

I am in another good place this evening.

Reading Clear Light of Day by Anita Desai. Blogging. Watching our dear president. (I do still like him so: "We cannot govern out of anger.")

And in case you were wondering, and to continue with the main theme of this blog:

Roxie is doing pretty well herself. She sends you greetings from the bed.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Here I Am Today

This is me, today.

I'm thinking about a lot of people today: my new friend, who is so much fun to learn about; an old friend who is so far away, but still takes the time to check in with me and ask how I am; a work friend who just found out he has cancer and will have surgery in three weeks; a friend who's getting married and is letting me help plan her day; my cool teenager brother who texts dorky old me to ask what I think; and others, so many others.

I'm thinking about my broken wrist and how little it really matters.

I'm thinking about republicans and muslims and homosexual people and am shocked by all of us, all of our fear and misunderstanding and hatred. And I am thinking about mercy and love and William Langland's words from around 1400: “All the wickedness in this world that man might work or think is no more to the mercy of God than a live coal in the sea.”

I'm thinking about the path that's led me to this place, here in the world, the paths I didn't take (by God's mercy) and the paths laid out before me and the people I love, and I am surprised again and again by our capacity to care for each other, to give each other exactly what we need, and to rise above the differences we have and the hardnesses we carry in our hearts.

I'm grateful today, and happy.

And hoping to live like this poem.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Because Poetry Is Like Pringles

You can't stop with just one.

Michael Hannon

Why not kill everything, Lord Shiva wonders,
and makes a start, but gets distracted by a pair of orioles,
male and female, singing in the banana tree.

Published in Poetry East No. 60, Fall 2007.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Driving In the Dark And Goofy Dogs

I dreamed last night that I was driving home in a storm, and it was dark, and there was a lot of traffic. And I was the only car with my lights on. Do you think this has some deep Jungian significance?

And for something completely different? ChetArt's Etsy shop. Love these illustrations, especially this one:


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hopeful Romantic

No matter how many Valentine's Days alone, not matter how many years watching and not participating in the glory of spring, no matter how many nights curled up next to the dog, I am not lonely or upset. I am waiting, I am hibernating, I am ready, I am hopeful.

I am dreaming and reading classic literature and marking favorite poems and being endlessly, hopefully romantic. Because the love between two people, the truly romantic love, does exist and is beautiful, and I love seeing glimpses of it between people that I love in other ways: between my engaged friends, between friends who are creating a family together, between my parents who are still in love with their mates after all these years.

I remember it. I look forward to it. I am so happy to see it around me, to celebrate it today.

And I do celebrate love--the special love between two people, and I am glad that we humans have it. It is so beautiful.

Here's one of my favorite love poems, and I'm posting it in honor of couples who are trying, valiantly, and succeeding together in love. It's by E. E. Cummings, and its title is its first line:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                                     i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


Happy Valentine's Day, Everyone!

And on a related note... Roxie is 4 today! (Or sometime this week...)


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Still Overexcited About Having the Dog Back

Not too much to report here in the One Dog Apartment.

After our twelve-mile extravaganza on Sunday, Rox and I have been Relaxing. (Look at the MUD on those legs! She literally sunk into the lake at the state park... it's the most fowl-smelling mud ever, trust me. And I can't lift her into the tub with one arm. I wiped her down with a pet wipe and she's licked hers legs a bit, but I may have to invest in some larger-level cleaning.)

Our week is going well. I finally invested in Tylenol PM which is the secret to sleeping with a broken arm (may you never have to find this out). With sleep, I've been able to work my normal hours, watch some TV,

and relax with my big baby.

Sometimes, it's just wonderful to have someone to talk to who will slant her head and look interested. Someone to feed cookies to and take out for walks. I'm still not convinced that men are better than pets. Pets are cuddlier and less needy. Easier to care for with one arm. Unless you have to bathe them.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Oh My Weekend

I wasn't sure whether to punctuate the title "Oh, My Weekend" or "Oh My, Weekend" so I went sans comma. Here's the summary for ya:

1. Dad picked me up and I feasted on spinach quesadillas at an El Salvadorian restaurant.
2. We went to the "Bishop Arts District" and ate fresh chocolate cake, shopped at a pet store, toured an art gallery, and drank fancy root beer out of glass bottles.
3. Saw Roxie!!!
4. Joined the rest of the family for dinner and our particularly wonderful brand of "family time"--tv and homemade chocolate/chocolate chip milkshakes.
5. Got my cast "tattooed" by the fam.
I drew the first one myself. The second and third Dad did.

And that last one? That's my fourteen-year-old brother. Shocking, isn't it, that he'd permanently emblazon his feelings on my cast? I love him, too.

1. Shopped all morning with my stepmother.
2. Didn't buy a thing (but she did...ha).
3. Returned home with dog and was excited beyond words to see this face:

1. Listened to my Sunday NPR shows: "Weekend Edition," "Prairie Home Companion," and "Car Talk." This was fabulous, just being happily at home with my comfort shows and my comfort dog. Still miss knitting with comfort wool, but I'll get there soon enough.
2. Cleaned so thoroughly that my grandmother could come over. Seriously.
3. Celebrated the return of the dog by meeting my friend at the state park. We were so excited about the nice weather and the prospect of walking our dogs that we started out on a new trail. A few miles in, we realized we forgot to see how long the trail was. A few more miles, we wondered if this might be a real problem. A few miles (and four hours from setting out) we stoppend and asked some bikers, who shared that it was a twelve mile trail and that we had three miles left. We were in good spirits and having a good time, but when the sun set behind the horizon we wondered off the trail toward a light that turned out to be a park ranger's home. He gave us a ride back to the trailhead, though I'm sure we had less than a mile left. My friend and I, and our dogs, drove quickly to the frozen custard shop to make up the calories from our five and a half hour long walk.
4. Roxie and I slept. Really well.

And I got my latest order in the mail today. Amy Butler and Anna Maria Horner designer fabric that makes me want to learn to sew one handed. Isn't it all just gorgeous?

Long story short: "No boredom this weekend!"


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Something to Participate In When the Arm is Healed

I love this idea: "The Milkweed Project." It will be a collaborative installation by hundreds of fiber artists (i.e. knitters and crochet-ers) showing the interconnectedness of things through an imagining of the inside of a milkweed pod: "The Milkweed Project is about our connection to each other, to nature, to the past, present and future. " Click here for more information about the project.

I'm going to contribute with something--what a cool idea!


Friday, February 6, 2009

Happy Friday

I get my dog back today.

Click on the image to embiggen. Sorry it's blurry--I don't have a scanner so I have to use my camera.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

What Having A Broken Wrist is Like

Except less dramatic. Also less colorful. More itchy, too.

Okay, it's not like that at all. But I am wearing a purple shirt and socks.

And it is sort of helpless feeling. As in, I can't wash my own dishes. Or do my hair very well. Or hang my shirts. Or take out the trash.

I can draw, though!


P.S. I know I'm obsessing over this. But I've always been a bit of a drama queen. And this is kind of a big part of my life at the moment. Plus, I'm bereft of my two greatest passions: I don't have Roxie right now and I can't knit, so I'm navel-gazing. Or perhaps I'm wallowing in self pity. I'll move on to discussion of other things soon. Promise.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Not Knitting

So what am I doing with myself?

I'm reading.

I'm illustrating.

I'm stopping to smell the flowers.

That's the best part of being hurt (if there's a best part)--the flowers.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Silent Poetry Reading for the Feast of St. Brigid

"One-Sided Dialogue Concerning the Soul"
by Elizabeth Poreba

Like the old friend who calls
only to tell you about herself,
the mind does all the talking.

It's so interesting.
Besides, it thinks
that the soul is not very bright.

In its place among the many mansions,
the mind doubts that the soul
would know where to hang the pictures.

The mind is almost ready to give up on the soul,
except it hears a humming somewhere,
something knit and moving together,

like a great tree in full leaf.

--Published in Poetry East No. 60, Fall 2007

This is my silent poetry reading for the Bloggers Celebration of the Feast of St. Brigid. I miss it every year, but thanks to Chris for the reminder today.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

I Am So Done With Having A Cast

Can't we move on to the next stage already?

(Please don't remind me that there's at least 6 weeks of this left. That I'm only 72 hours in. I don't need to hear it, just now.)

Any one-handed craft ideas?