26 September 2014

in good company

For a good part of the time I was in Casper, I was lucky to have knitting friends, and friends who didn't knit but who liked to get together with good food and conversation who weren't bothered by the constant twitch of yarn and needles. Still, I did—and do—most of my yarn-based pursuits in private, usually in my living room, while watching baseball and hockey. It's something to do with my hands that simultaneously justifies the act of watching and is a pleasure in and of itself. I don't knit a whole lot in public, though, and while I love to talk about it, I don't tend to do so unless I know I have a like-minded conversation partner.

On Saturday, I attended a meeting of the Cocoa Area Fiber Enthusiasts at the Hershey Public Library, where I had the distinct pleasure to spend nearly three hours in the company of people who are not only knitters but also spinners, dyers, felters, weavers, crocheters, and so on. Many of the participants also expressed interest in other creative pursuits: paper-making, historical crafting practices, dichroic glass-making, quilting, and on and on. Through the midday, we worked on our projects and talked pretty exclusively about similar creative pursuits, showing off current projects and older ones.

14 September 2014

variations on a leaf

I turned on the heat in my car the other morning as I drove to campus, and I have worn jackets. But this leaf was on the apartment complex sidewalk while neighbors still sweltered poolside, I took the photo because the leaf is lovely, peach-tinted instead of aflame. But I didn't notice the piece of dead grass lying atop it, and I didn't want to pick it up and press it flat between book-pages because I didn't want its loveliness. I never want fall. It comes anyway.

My days are bookended by thirty minutes in the car, which is new. I listen to music, setting my digitized music collection to shuffle, and while I drive, every musical whim I've had confronts me. Sometimes the randomization creates patterns—three and four songs by the same artist in a single drive, out of hundreds of artists and two thousand single tracks—and I sink into when and where and everything is fleeting. The player is set to fade tracks in and out, so the beginning of one song overlaps with the end of the previous, partly for the unexpected juxtapositions, but mostly to avoid flat air.

There isn't much music I've ever grown out of. Some things fade out of intentional listening patterns, but when the music I loved best at ten and fourteen and twenty-four cues up, I usually let it play. When there are too many things to think, often on Monday mornings and Wednesday evenings, I turn the music louder and louder and it isn't until I park that it seems far too loud.

I drive with the windows open. I remember that I actually like the smell of skunk, and I remember how close the scents of manure and earth and drying cornstalks. With the windows open, sometimes bits of leaf and chaff blow in, sometimes rain.

Sometimes the air here smells like melting chocolate and roasted almonds, but I still only want to eat peaches, all summer-tasting and sunrise-hued, the colors of this heatmapped leaf. 

There's no sense in me saying not yet. Waiting until I'm ready only means dead time between tracks.