Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wool and ink

I was walking through the covered market and my eye caught them through the glass, Skeins of lovely wool in a fairly unlikely store, a shop run for the benefit of hospice care. At first I passed by, thinking, "That's ridiculous. What on earth would I do with that." Later in the day I passed by the same shop and the wool drew me with a power I do not understand. Chunky purple wool, lovely ash colored grey wool begging for a knitter. I could envision the grey in an Aran sweater, but I wasn't up to that. My ambition was a scarf. Yes - there are scarves available here for 3 pounds each, but somehow that was irrelevant. I succumbed to the impulse and bought 2 skeins of grey and a pair of second hand size 7 metal knitting needles for a pound.

As I chatted with the woman running the shop we laughed because I struggled about buying the needles. I have a drawer full of knitting needles at home. As we were packing, I carried 2 pairs of circular needles half way up the stairs, intending to put them in my suitcase. Thinking I would never have time to knit, I turned around and put them back. I am still kicking myself.

I think you just have to resign yourself to certain habits or foibles. One of mine is forgetting or not remembering how much I like to knit. One of Craig's is underestimating how much he likes to write. He has a penchant for paper and pen. I love the feel of wool on my fingers and the creation of something useful and beautiful out of nothing but raw material and effort. Although I am frequently disappointed and frustrated with the result, I keep trying. Craig loves the feeling of the flow of fountain pen ink on paper and the creation of ideas from knowledge and reflection. From the ideas begun many years ago, he makes many beginnings, but a relatively few results see the light of day or the printing press. But he still keeps trying. Craig can't pass up a stationary store. I can't pass up a wool store. The material begs the activity.

So we go through life, no matter where we are vulnerable to our weaknesses but trying to redeem them. There is some kind of strenghth and hope in there somewhere. The persistence of the habit attests to its strength. Then there is the hope that we will someday make that Aran sweater or write that book. Maybe someday we will.

1 comment:

iconic said...

I noted your references to books by Chinua Achebe, which I have read and admired since I was a young'un. Have you also seen the film, "The Gods Must Be Crazy"? A wonderful view on Africa.

But here we are in Narnia. You can't imagine how beauiful it is, and we're sorry you're missing it. We made costumes thinking always, "what would Mimi do?" I made Turkish Delight from Mimi's recipe (it's in the cookbook!). I am very glad you can be in C.S. Lewis' home ground while we are in Narnia.

So many of your friends are reading your beautiful essays (the term "blog" does disservice). Only a handful are signed on as "followers," but many more are reading and talking about your travels. We do miss you, and we are delighted and inspired by your adventure.