Thursday, December 28, 2006

If I were a hat...

I think I would like to be this one. I like to call it the Kabucha hat, since it reminds me of the shape of that excellent Japanese vegetabe. I made it for my sister-in-law, Naomi, who lives in Vermont, a place where they persist in having winter.

This warm topper is made by knitting with two strands -- one from Maine's Fibre Company silk/baby alpaca/merino mix and another from Rowan Kid Silk Haze (fine mohair). I copied, revised, fiddled, etc. the design based on one by my knitting goddess friend, Laurie. I'm just finishing another one -- in shades of pink, no less -- and it might even be for me.

Bring on the snow, if you please!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Cafe

There’s something good that happens when you sit in a café long enough. You start thinking of things that you haven’t thought of in a very long time. You stop worrying about money. You don’t care that your husband pissed you off that morning or that your son still writes his numbers backwards or that your best friend is not returning your calls. No, you stop thinking about that stuff. You stop ruminating. You stop chasing your worries around inside your head like hissing cats you can’t catch. You put them outside for the night. You just sit.

And you write or you read or you strike up a conversation with a stranger. Inevitably that stranger has some unsuspected similarity to you. A brother eight years older, a father who just died, a vacation approaching, the cusp of another life changing next to you. I don’t know, something in common, a thread pulled through both your lives. The randomness of cafes does more to illustrate the orderliness of our mismatched universe in ways even Einstein would find interesting. And he could get something hot to drink along with it.

And that’s why I visit my favorite café regularly, usually about once a week, like church almost. I bring my book and my laptop, my notes and a pen. I pay bills there. I page through a newspaper discarded in a chair. I email my brother. And, more than anything, I set myself in orbit with the random order of things.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Homage to the Namesake

Some days, it is just plain cruddy to not live near the sea. I miss hearing the surf wherever I go, the salty smell in the air, just all that blue spreading out into the distance.

Some days, the best you can do is look at a picture like this and be happy that the place it tries to capture is still here on the planet, calmly turning the page of the day, getting on with the work of rolling waves and keeping an eye on the fish.