Example #1 I didn’t learn to swim until 5th or 6th grade. At that time, the curriculum at the public school I attended included swimming lessons for a month or so each year. We were bused to the community pool.
I have a memory of standing on the end of a diving board sobbing with one of the instructors in the water encouraging me to jump. I really can’t remember how they got me that far, probably because at that point in my life adults were to be obeyed. Eventually I jumped and they made me do it again and again, thinking that would get me past my fear.
It’s a miracle really, that I am not afraid to be in the water. In fact, I love being able to be in the water as long as I can put my feet down and stand. I can swim laps as long as I do a backstroke or don’t put my face in the water. I still have absolutely no desire to jump in to a body of water (although I did once again in college as part of a sailing class).
Example #2 I am afraid of matches. I have a feeling this stems from a very early understanding that fire can burn down houses. One of my first memories includes seeing the charcoal footprint left by a house that had burned to the ground during the night.
I can bring myself to light a wooden match because I love candles and have made myself practice. I would use a paper match if it was life or death. If I had a wood stove, it would be used because I love them and would push myself past what is an irrational fear.
I am wondering...
is it good to push people past comfort zones? What do we learn when we are pushed into trying something new? Who is in charge of deciding when an adult or child should be pushed into something that may be good for them but is uncomfortable or scary? These are some of the questions I am pondering right now.
Fear of failure is part of this. But failure can mean different things to different people and in different situations. Failure can mean life or death, potential injury, or judgment by others.
Other times failure it is just a learning tool. It says, “go another way.” Failure is not always a bad thing but an opportunity. This is part of creativity for me.
I recently finished reading Messy, The Power of Disorder to Transform our Lives by Tim Harford and this is one of the questions that has lingered for me. In general, it was a thought provoking book that I really enjoyed reading.
The Liminal Scarf (a place outside of comfort zones)
Lots of gray stripes for gray Sunday mornings.
I should have had a stripe to mark snowy Sunday mornings, this is the fourth I think.
I've lost count.
Loosely based on this recipe for Samosa Sheppard's Pie (101 Cookbooks).
I will make this again and again.
For this version I substituted spinach for the peas in the recipe and used a slightly different mix of spices.
It did look like Sheppard's pie when it came out of the oven.
And for Grace especially...
For this version I used mashed potatoes (extra from the Sheppard's pie), kale, walnuts, and Teleme Cheese (thank you Granny!). Usually I put some type of blue cheese on potato pizza but had the Teleme to use up. No red sauce for this, just a drizzle of olive oil on the top after it came out of the oven.
I first had potatoes on pizza in Italy. The potatoes were sliced very thinly and laid across the top. It's good like that too.
I've been experimenting with starting pizza on the stove top, using a cast iron pan, and then finishing in the oven (idea found here at Root Simple). I think I've got it down and am ready for guests...
This weekend I did 14 gift bags for a training I was doing.
I loved how there turned out but regretted using plastic bags.
Sometimes that is the way it goes....
Yesterday, late afternoon, I was out checking on the chickens.
The crows were flying by in small groups heading for wherever they rest for the night.
I grew up knowing there were bears in the woods, bears on the beaches, bears going through the garbage at the garbage dump (It would be reported in the community newspaper, something that always seemed very funny to me...).
I remember another summer camp hike in SE Alaska that my brothers and I went on where we wore bells and sang for a good part of the hike...one of the rules for living around bears is make lots of noise so that you don’t surprise them.
When we moved to Washington (where bears are still a possibility but less likely in the areas where I have lived) my bedroom was located at the front part of a daylight basement, with the windows pretty much at ground level. I can remember (age 10) laying on my bed in the dark thinking the bears were outside the window and that I needed to lay very still so they wouldn’t notice me. Another bear rule, for brown bear and Grizzly bear only, play dead if necessary.
This was also a stage of my life that I was sure there was something scary under my bed and that if I let my foot dangle over the edge while I was sleeping that it would be grabbed and awful things would happen. I am so thankful I never shared that with my brothers. Sure enough one of them would have been under my bed waiting for me to fall asleep...
This year I decided to participate in Carla Sonheim's 365 day class. Like my friend at handstories, I realized very quickly that a drawing assignment was going to take me right to a Jude inspired beast...
Still in progress.
Vulnerability has been on my mind, still thinking about how and what we share. How it ties to taking risks, being willing to get lost occasionally. About being willing to be a beginner.
Found this morning in Rebecca Solnit's book, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, "Between words is silence, around ink whiteness, behind every map's information is what's left out, the unmapped and unmappable."
I revisited making crackers, this time adding sesame seeds (stirred into the flour not as a topping). The crackers are really best rolled out as thin as possible but the cookie cutters are so much fun to play with.
9:04 AM and it is 34 degrees F this morning. Icy snow on the ground. Windy.
While I was outside taking care of the chickens this morning, I was buzzed by a hummingbird; probably the one that has been hanging out in the garden.
He was moving fast. I hope he had somewhere warm to go.
Earlier this week I stepped outside to bring Lola in and saw one of the ravens that live in my neighborhood park chasing off a hawk.
Field notes. I wonder about my need to document the world around me.
Is it part of making meaning in this world?
28 minutes passed between dawn and the moment that the sun came through a window, into my home. 28 rows of purple/red to knit on the liminal scarf in honor of today.
And there are stars to stitch...
"What are you making, an elf hat?" asked one of my brothers.
I paused before answering. I said, "No, it's a scarf. I'm just playing a bit." The conversation moved on and I was fine with that, not really in the mood to say more.
I've been thinking about this quite a bit though, how much to explain? I could have given a longer answer... "I'm creating a pattern of stripes that measure the light on Sunday mornings. It's my liminal scarf, it's about thresholds and margins and about new beginnings and possibilities."
What other conversations would we have had?
I think about this in general...how much to explain? I think about this a lot here too, on the blog, regarding what I share and don't share.
The "why" of it all.
I don't think there really is one answer for this but
part of the answer for me has to do with mending...
A hole is a threshold.
This is where I find comfort today...
That I can stitch stars for wishes, for hope.
"Finding beauty in a broken world is creating beauty in the world we find."
In these words from Rachel Naomi Reman:
"It's not about healing the world by making a huge difference. It's about healing the world that touches you, that is around you."
We have this power, this ability.
This is where hope lives for me.
$15.00 dollars of organic, local, in season food from the farmer's market. I am curious...does this seem expensive?
It's not my whole week's worth of fruits and vegetables. I have new potatoes leftover from last week and tomatoes, apples and grapes from my garden.
And just a quick idea, it could be translated into stitch...
Inspired by Knit the Sky
(checked out from the library, it's a delightful book),
I've planned a few projects...
It's time to knit socks on the bus again.
I decided to alternate colorways each day. The stripe will measure whatever knitting on the sock that I do that day. I'm not going to worry about knitting every day, it's just the measure of whatever knitting I do that day. This was settled upon after I hopelessly tangled two balls of yarn in my work bag.
I did have a little help from Lola with the tangle.
Lola's also been helping in the garden. Here she is taking the compost out to bury.
(The tomato was one that I grew. Something ate a corner of it so I had picked it and put it on the walkway while I was tidying up a few other things.)
This project is intended to last the year.
My goal is to measure the difference between sunrise and the actual moment the sunlight comes through my east facing windows every Sunday morning. I'll knit one row for each minute. Today it was 54 minutes. Another way to make field notes visible.
The purple/red mix will be for the majority of the minutes and the yellow-green will mark the moment the sun comes through the window.
I'm starting with some Spincycle yarn (Slumbering Hearts and Greed). For days that it's gray and there is no measurable difference; I'll knit 30 rows of gray yarn that I will spin. Spincycle yarns work well with handspun, so this should work well. If this yarn doesn't take me through the year I'll probably spin yarn for the rest.
The pattern I decided on is "Candy Stripes Kerchief" from an issue of Interweave Knits (Holiday 2007), with a few modifications. It seems appropriate as I can do increases for half the year and decreases for the other half and it should work out. I may rework the amount of gray stripes depending on whether the scarf will be big enough.
And because there must be a name, it's my liminal scarf.
Liminal for thresholds and margins.