Saturday, April 06, 2019

Leaving for Rivendell

I’m not sure the boys are deeply interested, but they also won’t let me stop reading. It’s glacially slow, at about three pages per night, but we are at Weathertop now. It’s only been about a year since Thomas would let me read anything other than Roald Dahl aloud, and the territory we’ve covered is incredible. We read Jacob Two Two, and then all of Narnia, and then The Neverending Story. After that, we were casting about for a bit, and I cautiously suggested LotR. And here we are.

I haven’t quite made the leap to chapter books with the girls yet, but it’s coming. I mean, I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, but they weren’t interested in The Magician’s Nephew, so I think I’ll wait a little and then maybe try Pippi Longstocking.

Monday, April 01, 2019


I truly meant to post more often. Sigh. But I’m out of the habit of pouring out words on blogger...

Although not out of the habit of pouring out words in general.

My kids are older, and the feeling of utterly drowning all the time has passed, and I am very grateful. I adored my babies and toddlers, but it was a very hard time for a lot of reasons, and I enjoy my older children much more steadily than I did the infant stage. When they were babies, everything was coping moment by moment, running a constant time/patience/sleep deficit- no space for thinking or planning. Now, with both parents gone, children no longer always on top of me, it’s been very interesting to find out that the me that was taking shape in my twenties is still there. More tired, more patient, a lot less brittle. And all the things which I learned and loved when I was very young have.... focused.

One of my favourite things about my late thirties/turning forty has been how much more able I am to follow abstract thoughts, and to calmly consider things. I’m still not great, but before I had much less space in my head. I’m older and more tired and definitely rounder, but I’m also much, much happier to be me.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

We’re getting the band back together

A lot of things happened. I’m typing on an iPad and I can’t find my keyboard, so the typing is extremely penitential, for Lent. I think this iPad hates and resents me.

A bunch of people I loved on blogs proposed that we all try to go back to blogging and reduce the hold of Facebook for Lent. Putting our thoughts out in a more concrete and less ephemeral way. To that end, I have hacked back in to my blog account.

I have a lot of thoughts pinging around that aren’t Facebooky. I’ve just finished Boy in the Moon, by Ian Brown, about being the father of a severely disabled son, and I have stalled out 3/4 of the way through Cræft, by Alex Langlands. Cræft as purported to be about a philosophy of craft, but he’s a better jack of all trades enthusiast than philosopher. I loved the parts that were immersive descriptions of crafting, but I reject his belief that true craft means limited technology. I think that’s quite romantic, and it doesn’t delve as deeply into what it means to have true mastery as I’d like.

I have The Craftsman over on my bedside shelf, and the introduction reminds me of Ursula Franklin’s separation between holistic and prescriptive technology. And that, I think, is where I go with craft.

The cat is a glorious model. 

Craft, I think, very cautiously, involves deep knowing- the kind of knowing where you are in charge of every part of the making process, and where you are interacting physically with the materials. For me, it switches off part of my brain- the chattering word-filled part, and focuses me in the moment. It’s meditation. But active. It reminds me a little of the discipline of lectio divina, reading the scriptures in order to have the words move inside you and change you. 

And so my mind is right now filled with all of this, and how I think Jean Vanier and Ursula Le Guin and the goodness of matter fit in, and that’s... probably what I’ll be writing about.

#blogcræft #gettingthebandbacktogether

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I don't really have words

Since I last posted, we've been packing up Dad's house, we've had a family member (Geoff's brother) move in with us, and.... after we moved Dad to a retirement home, worried about his malnutrition and dehydration

he died. A few days after being hospitalized and finding out that he couldn't swallow anymore.

And then my husband was diagnosed with T1 diabetes, like our oldest son.

The busyness of normal life, and all these swirling crises, is keeping me from processing, I think. Geoff and I had a night away, and it was glorious, but overall I am just tired and very, very overwhelmed.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tea is a blessing

It's morning, and I'm tired, but I'm drinking tea and listening to the snow-that's-almost-ice-pellets hitting the window gently, and wrestling with the eternal grocery list. My friend Alicia sorted my beads for me yesterday, and told me that I Don't Need Any More, which is clearly untrue, because I only have a very very large quantity.We have very different attitudes to having Stuff, she noted. She's a minimalist and does it well. I like to have lots. I'm basically trying to recreate the experience of my Dad's workroom- a whole room filled with fascinating things. I like to trawl my fingers through little tubs of sparkly things and decide what to make, and I get itchy if I don't have lots to work with. I'm easily bored, which is bad, but I think of lots of materials as fertile soil. Or maybe as toys. I need a large variety of toys to build really elaborate things, right? Because I've never left the mud pie/doll's dress/ trying to press walnut oil from walnuts with a hammer stage. I just like, fundamentally, mucking about. It's all play.

White gold choker with light purple crystals

And I am still ten years old and wanting all the shiny.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Still working away at that

The Home Ec thing. It was complicated by a near nervous breakdown about my Dad refusing to move out for the whole of the renovations, which will, God willing, happen quite soon. And I've been very busy making jewelry and having mini nervous breakdowns, plus Geoff has worked 17 hours of overtime this week.

So I've spent a lot of time in a little ball of stress. I have started getting Nat to unload parts of the dishwasher about a quarter of the time, and the boys are doing more picking up, and generally I'm trying to increase expectations. I need to ask Nat and Thomas both to do more meal prep,

Time to re-tackle the laundry and all the other great stuff.