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So, imagine this, me blogging. A strange, forgotten urge to check in with this world that has served me so well in the past, and one that I have so little time (need) for these days.

Have you wondered what has been going on in my life? I am here to tell you, a bit of it anyway.

I live in town now, in Astoria, Oregon, a beautiful, painted, tawdry creature that perches on the edge of the water, the Mighty Big river, the Columbia. I live in a house that was built before the turn of the last century, a house that tilts towards the water, as do all things here, eventually.
I had a house-warming last Saturday, and used my oven for the first time. My kitchen has been christened!
I work in a brew-pub, mostly cooking, 5 shifts a week. This takes up immense amounts of my time, and I have had to adjust, but it has not been difficult. One thing that I have not had much time for, well, any time for really, is fiber arts etc. To fulfill my creative yearnings there has been costuming for the street! My first foray into textile love…and here I am back at it. Second up on the creative sheet has been altering the interior of my home to suit. I moved in here on August 23, and it was almost exactly one month later that I had swept away the last in-your-face traces of the previous occupant, my beloved Margaret (aforementioned as mentor, dyer, and source of too much yarn to list). Now the house is mine, a working definition of possession anyway.

Today is a day off, and I woke just after 6 to see kids off to school, and scrub the porch steps. Flyspeck is not my preferred aesthetic, despite the inescapable Chaos factor!

Sadly I have no camera at my disposal currently. One reason I have been hesitant to blog as of late. Another reason is that I am a bit afraid to show my face in the Internet sphere is that I have flaked on a few obligations made before the move. I did try to drop all swaps that would come due during this time, but I was unable to get out of them. I am afraid I have indeed tarnished my reputation as a reliable swapper, but still, I have been working through them as time allows. You can hate me if you want, but I promise you, it isn’t worth the energy! :)

So, for anyone who drops in here to see whatever happened to me, thanks! I can’t say that I will blog actively, and I must say I haven’t read anyone else’s blog entries since my last post (june!), Hell, I haven’t even checked my email in a month, as my computer isn’t hooked up to th’Internet and I am posting today from Alice’s notebook.

Speaking of Alice, I should say that she is adjusting remarkable well to High School. Her homeroom as it were is the stage, literally; she loves her science, English, and Drama classes, tolerates the rest; she has a small group of friends already, and is otherwise refusing to get involved in the Popularity Game. And I don’t believe that, several weeks into the school year, she has repeated an outfit yet! All she is wanting now is some employment so that she can finance various upcoming trips to the theater: one to see The Importance of Being Earnest, and a spring trip to Ashland, Oregon for the Shakespeare Festival.
Opal is also doing well, in her Opally way. Her room is exactly as messy as it ever was; through her roamings, she knows the new neighborhood better than any of us; and she is taking percussion in her music class. For those who know Opal, you will see how fitting that is.
And I walk almost every day, down on the tracks, dancing on the rails, meeting all the weeds growing there. Falling, and getting back up. In my short time in town, I have sustained two minor-to-moderate injuries on the tracks, the most recent a serious stone bruise that healed miraculously thanks to arnica and reiki.
If you walk on the edge, baby, you gonna fall sometimes.

Most recent book acquisition is European Textile Design from the 1920’s. Here’s another moment when I wish I had the camera.

Okay, that’s all for now!

I store my clothes in suitcases

I was thinking about this today. why do I do this? I am so aware of the temporal nature of life. Security is not much of a concern to me; in fact, I am inherently unstable, but well able to navigate through my days despite this. This is not to say that I lack a solid living situation. Quite the contrary. Still there is a whirlwind nature in the way I live.
Maybe it comes from having grown up in teepees and caravans.

I took a few minutes to add almost the final touches to zaftig! Only a few ends to work in now. I don’t think I will even try to block it, although it will get a nice gentle wash for good measure.
So at long last, here she is!
zaftig... almost done

she is not perfectly fitting, but I will not wear her bare anyway. Or at least I won’t tell you about it, modest reader. Whether or not the fit issues are due to my knitting or the pattern, I know not. In any case, at my age it’s all make believe anyway!

The thing you can’t see in the picture is the absolutely perfect way that the variegation in the fixation is matched by that in ‘s handspun single. Perfect, I tell you. But, Opal is my official portrait photographer now that she has her own camera (yes, it was a great gift giving season in my family), so there are naturally limitations in her ability. She has the drive, her skill level will increase dramatically I predict.

I have to take the girls to the big library now, so I must away.

I do this from time to time…

I wanted to take a minute to document why I feel compelled to spend time recycling and refreshing cast off clothing items. It is somewhat a mission for me, as anyone who knows me is aware, and it was articulated for a moment in my mind, lined up nice and easy, so let’s see if can get it right here.

I really do believe that all matter has Spirit. From the moment an object or an event is first conceived of, it begins to become real.
Let’s use a sweater as an example. At first it is just an inkling, a whisper of manifestation, a mere vision of what could be, but if that vision is pursued, the idea builds up force around it like a shell, and the construction of the physical has begun!
First there has to be a pattern found, or made up. Then the wool must be had for the project. Perhaps it will be handspun, perhaps it will be purchased. After that there will be tests run, gauges checked, rows knit, and ripped back. Then the hours of knitting begin. And then finally, the careful poring over of the finishing details. If the original idea is followed through to the end result, the sweater, there has been an act of Creation.
Now, that sweater does not exist in an energetic vacuum. Rather, it is infused with the intention that drove the knitter to its creation. More than that, I would say. I would suggest that the energy that was held in the mind (and hands) of the knitter is as much a part of the garment as the wool that it is fabricated from.
This is indeed an Alchemy.

Having said that, I can specifically address:
Recycling as a form of Service.
Let’s say you go down to your local thrift store on bag day, on the day before they send a bunch of stuff to the rag pickers or the dump or wherever old clothes go when they haven’t sold. This is the end of the consumer line for most of these items.
You stand there among all these orphans, and you ask yourself, what is the history of these items? What are their stories? Each of them have one! Each of them went through the alchemical process described above. Except in the case of most of these shirts and pants and dresses, the Driving Force behind their creation was profit. And the materials that went into them were not lovingly called forth out of a handful of cotton seeds, but more likely sprayed with innumerable poisons, and picked perhaps by humans who did the work with resignation. And then, the fiber was sent…somewhere… to be milled and woven automatically. And in the flurry of this creative process, the next step was for the fabric to be shipped somewhere to be “assembled” by someone whose life was not touched by the individual spirit of the item. Who knows what energy the assemblers stitched into the thing? What thoughts they thought while making it? Then the piece of clothing goes off to the big box store where it is sold for cheap cheap cheap, as cheap as can be or no one will buy it, because how many shop out of Respect rather than out of Vanity?
Finally, it ends up on the rack of the thrift store, and it is full of all that, and more, if my imagined scenario is correct.
That’s what I am thinking when I stand there in that thrift store, or at that rummage sale on free day, or at the clothing bank holding a bag of discards in my hand.
This is where the Service aspect comes into it. I want to give those orphans a new lease on life! I want to work a little transformative magic on them! I want to bring a couple of them home with Respect and Love and say,
“hey you! I value you. I see a way that you can live on a little bit longer! How about a little embellishment and some fresh energy? Do you want to play?”
And so I do.

If we lift up the individuals, the Whole will rise to its feet. Maybe even more than that! Maybe it will fly!