Monday, August 22, 2011

I'm Learning How to Knit, and Other Stories

1. In a sudden twist, I've been learning how to knit. It snuck up on me. Granted, I can currently only knit squares, but I could knit squares all day and be quite content. Particularly if I had chocolate and television. (I call the squares "dish rags", and use them for dishes, together with some of the puffy petticoat from my wedding dress, for something more scratchy.)

The next step is learning to knit socks. I decided that I should specialize in two things: socks and dish rags. Functional, potentially beautiful, humble. Leah is going to teach me, and I'm going to follow the directions on the Vogue Knitting The Ultimate Sock Book. If I specialize, I don't need much gear, and maybe I'll get extraordinarily good at knitting socks.

2. I inadvertently got rid of my bike. Someone stole it. I wasn't exactly using five star security: I thought it was junky enough that nobody would want it (it was locked with a combination lock, which is not famously effective).

The amazing news is that my friend is lending me her bike until we move to South Africa. I don't want to sound like Pollyanna but I'm kinda glad this happened, because I feel so much gratitude for the loan.

The bike is wonderful and when I road it home this afternoon, I got my first bike compliment from another biker! Usually bikers are just whizzing past. This time, someone said, "hey, I like your bike!" and I said, "Yeah, my friend is lending it to me! I'm just riding it home from her house!" I felt like a biker/cyclist person. It was awesome.

3. We got rid of curtains, beads, toothbrushes, albums, books, clothes, and more this past week. (to add to Eug's bike, the crib, and more the previous few weeks.) Every pass at our stuff, we get rid of more, so it feels less unsafe. There's no pressure to let go of things we're not ready to let go of. We just look at it again in a little while. Our house is still very messy, but it's getting closer to, well, not being messy.

We keep on saying things like "we're never going to buy anything again", but it's actually really difficult to navigate between the dream of "one day when we never buy anything" and the now. The present seems somehow separate, where different rules apply, particularly to waste. There's a tension in navigating what we're hoping for and the throwing-away-and-fairly-packaged-food-now.

I'm always re-learning that tiny choices in the now are helpful: Ice cream in a carton, cup or cone. Arborio rice from the tiny vacuum sealed plastic bag or from the bulk bin. Refusing bags. They may sound somehow puritanical, but to the contrary, in a time of transience it's a matter of making the choice just once. For today. If I feel brave. And if today I don't, that's ok.

No comments: