A week of our trip “home” has already melted away, sliding partly into the gauzy film of heat and partly shuffled and passed around like the ‘trash’ of the card game we’ve played, the kids now big enough to play even though we recycle the dimes each game.
Coming to KY always puts me into certain patterns and activities and foods. I always feel a bit outside, as if I am looking in at a different version of myself, the one that fits in here. Our first week has been great, and it has certainly been a week with a lot of yarn talk, yarn looking, and yarn discussion. My mother is opening a yarn store with two friends of hers in nearby Berea, a small city with a rich art history and community–but with no yarn store. I toured the empty space the other day, and I can only imagine how exciting it is to really watch this dream unfolding. They plan to open in less than a month, so it looks to me like there is so much to do, but they seem confident things are moving along and will happen on schedule. The most eye-opening thing is realizing that regular people can do this — almost on a shoestring. I had a moment sitting in that empty space listening to the discussion of where things will be and how they will use the three small rooms they have in a larger arts building, and I suddenly realized that “this” is possible… a store… one of many kinds of stores or small businesses. It is possible.
What they need from me — are samples to display at the store. Lol. So while I did bring home a quilt panel that is far overdue and I promised I would have in the mail days ago (sorry!), and I did bring home pieces to try and begin the amorphous ’43′ project, which doesn’t have legs to stand on yet, and I did have high hopes about making Everyday Matters part of my vacation, all I have done in downtime is knit. It’s okay, and it’s fun, in the moment. At the same time, it is odd. I so rarely knit at home. I so rarely have time to knit, other than a few epic holiday gifts each year that I work on through the fall, but knitting isn’t my primary outlet in these years. When I have to choose, I would rather devote my creative time and energy in other ways. Yet when I am here, I knit. The other pieces of me never fit here. They sit awkwardly in my consciousness, things I want to do and work on, things that I think “with two weeks off, I’ll focus on this and that,” but it doesn’t happen.
But the knitting is good. We have worked on our “mystery shawls” (from a Stephen West knitalong at Ravelry), and we’ve spent tons of time looking at patterns to decide what else to start, and my mother has searched through what feels like hundreds of little bags, boxes, trunks, and project bags, finding and re-looking at all kinds of yarn from her stash. I keep trying to get her to at least make a list of what she has, especially since it seems to be tucked in every nook and cranny in the house. I think, at least, I have convinced her to update her Ravelry with some project details, and so we experimented with an upload tool for her Android. I spun away an hour after we snapped some photos outside of two of her recent projects trying to get the photos in place and in the right orientation. They kept going in sideways, even after I would rotate the source photos on the phone. Pretty funny. She’ll have to just remember how to take the photos, but I did keep trying to get the one set loaded… with no luck. They were odd photos to see of myself… the knit piece is cool, but the colorway makes it seem very old-fashioned, and my hair looks almost solid white. Disorienting in a snapshot, but oh so true. (I am quite “fine” with my white hair–but seeing it in the photo did take me by surprise, especially in that very grandmotherly looking capelet!)
Before we left SF for this trip, “reading material” was a subject of debate in the days leading up to packing and departure. I debated about what I wanted to bring, wanting to have enough and also wanting to have both fiction and something graphic with me. In the end, I made a perfect choice. I haven’t found the most time to read, but as I sat under a sliver of awning shade at the pool one day while the kids swam, I really got a chance to dive into The Language of Flowers. I am so loving it. I did also bring something graphic, which I hope to get to read, and I brought a zine book, because in my head I am moving closer and closer to a new point. I need to make sure that, starting today, I sketch or draw something, even small, even in a scrap of a corner of a page… something.
Matthew brought more than a dozen graphic novels with him. Ultimately, I agreed to a second suitcase, so that we didn’t have to choose to “not” bring books. He’s read through almost everything he has with him, even though he and his cousin have been so busy that there hasn’t been a ton of reading going on. But while my mom and I were at her weekly ‘knit group’ meeting at the library last week, the kids were in the library, and he discovered a manga series we’ve never seen before. They had a few of them, but in sequence they only had number 1. The series is Bakuman, and he LOVED the first one. And, unlike so many of the manga he reads, this one took a lot of time to read. We tried to get the next ones reserved for while we are here, but I don’t think they’ll arrive in time. But I’m sure once home again, we can get them from our library. The story, from what I understand, is about a young manga artist — so it’s meta-art fiction… my favorite! (Don’t be confused by the title. It sounds like it would fit right in with Bakugan and Beyblades, but this is a manga-themed manga story. Nice.)
Today is the first day I’ve been up alone a bit earlier than everyone else. (Somehow my schedule is a bit off here.) I desperately need a cup of coffee, but I can’t make that until Mom is up. I thought I would sit here and tackle some work, because despite my best intentions, there is still work. But then I decided I would pitstop here on the blog first. I don’t have a photo in hand, so I can’t post this yet, but it feels good to write. I need to find my way back to my own center in coming weeks. I do know that.
Photo update — I don’t think there is a card reader here that will let me access my photos… (really?)… so for now, the photo is from her cell-phone.