Friday, August 27, 2010

The Voice of Spirit

You know I’m always making prayer shawls for people and I put all kinds of good energy into them and the one I made for my Mom last week was no exception. Ive always seen them as a buffer or shield that either protects the wearer from further suffering or as a blanket of love and prayers that fills the person with happiness and hope each time they wear it.

Last Friday Mom was rushed to the ER and while I know it was scary and horrible for her...for Dad, DH and I it was like a 70’s sitcom.

We picked up Dad from AL and raced to the ER.
At the ER we were given passes to go see Mom.
We got to Mom’s room and she was not there.
An ER nurse told us that she had just left on transport.
We rushed back to AL.
Transport was still in the drop off zone when we returned.
Mom was being tucked into the bed by the time we got to her room.
So we let Mom rest and took Dad out for sushi.

What does this have to do with prayer shawls? On Sunday my sister presented me with this.

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Apparently Mom’s shawl took the hit of her ER visit. Dad was hoping that I could just rip it out and re-knit it. But I think that this yarn has given it’s all to Mom and it should just be laid to rest. As tragic as that is…that was its purpose. And to fulfill your intention is a noble thing.

I asked her if she wanted a triangle or rectangle shawl this time and as with most things…she didn’t know. So I’m going to pray on it a bit and see what happens. While I loved the pattern I just used…I’m open to another.

In truth; I’ve been very open to the voice of spirit and now I don’t feel so scattered.

I had this great meditation Monday night about my goals and what path I should be following.

When I started this summer I had so many ideas and goals that I wanted to accomplish and very few of them got done. It is like my son. He had the e-n-t-i-r-e summer to put away the papers in his backpack from the last day of school and he never did it.

Spirit told me that I just needed to accept that the things that were worked on this summer were what was supposed to be and to leave it at that. Then Spirit asked me the things that didn't get done...what was stopping me?

...and those excuses that I'd been making to myself...I just couldn't say them to Spirit ya'know? But at the same time I could see the other things that got done...like all the work on the house.

Then Spirit hugged me and told me that the things that were connected to time had been done. That many times my heart gets way ahead of my mind and starts things before they are ready. Like the tarot card of the man pulling on the shoots to get them to grow faster.

All these goals are good for their time and place in my life but they cannot be accomplished all at once.

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So here is my tank. It actually turned out really well. Sorry for the hurried photo but it was a hot day and I needed a shower so I didn't want to get it all sweaty. TMI I know. My boy took all the photos again and I think he is doing a great job. Anyway...I loved this project! It was fun and I even enjoyed the seaming on the sides. I added trim on the arm-holes because it looked wonky without them.

I wish you all a nice weekend.
Ruinwen
:)


Friday, August 20, 2010

Co-creating

Moms Prayer Shawl

While working on this prayer shawl I feel very centered and balanced in my own life process. And I realize for the first time what has been missing from my knitting for a while now.

I've been so focused on not buying new yarn and using stash and not starting patters before finishing what I've begun...that I've lost sight of the "spirit" of my crafting.

It seems like forever since I've begun a pattern with the help of my Patron Goddess, Bridget...or the elements or...really any of my guides or teachers.

It has been a while now since I really could immerse myself into my crafting like I was able to do for this prayer shawl. It is a good feeling.

I love the way this prayer shawl turned out. I really enjoyed everything about it from the soft fiber to the pattern itself. The edging was sheer genius and I love that I learned something new and fun that I can use over and over again.

I think Mom liked it too. Hard to tell these days.

Update on her condition: They didn't want to do radiation therapy. The second Doctor that they saw said that the tumor is as big as a golf ball and it would be better to operate. He is hoping to get it all in one fell swoop and then not have to do any radiation or chemo afterwards.

When I talked to her on Friday she was "Mom" for our conversation. There was no confusion, no doubt...I wanted to stay on the phone forever just to talk to her about anything so I could keep the Mother I used to know. But that was just a little gift...as my sister said...a little of her soul shining through the chaos that surrounds her mental facade.

I was talking to my friend on Friday night about it and she said that everyone goes through periods where their soul is eclipsed by their outer shadows. She went on to say, "Look at you for instance. In trying to keep sane you've become so regimented that you lack spontaneity."

And it is true. I'm afraid to color outside the lines of my existence for the same reason that I game. I need the structure of some things so that I can deal with all the things I cannot control that surround me.

I used to do things so differently and I think that "time" cannot be an excuse anymore. I used to start the day off with a daily meditation. Not something really long...just something to ponder on and think about during the day and it was a nice way to begin.

I started doing that again this week and I think it makes a big difference in the way I approach everything.

It is just a little change...but it is really all the little things that make up the glittery whole. And the little things are much easier to change then the unmovable mountains that I'm struggling with.

So I'm not going to be so rigid in the future or hard on myself to finish all these WIPs or ideas...or whatever else I've promised myself. I'm going to take time each day to listen to the voice of Spirit. I'm not going to plan out my next project before I finish the one I am working on. I'm going to try to start living in the moment and enjoying it to the fullest instead of dwelling on the past or looking towards the future.

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I'm working on the Basic Tank Top and I'm finding it very enjoyable. I'm making it out of Malabrigo Silky Merino in Nocturnal #472. I love Malabrigo and it is so soft and the colors are so vibrant. This colorway has a spectrum of purples from the shyest violet to the deepest plum and I just adore the way it is making up.

This tank is simple yet...it has some design details that are really beautiful. I would recommend this pattern for anyone looking for a fitted design that is not too difficult with a little flair thrown in.

I'm trying to do it right...I did a gauge swatch before starting...I've been measuring it up against a tank that I wear and love and adjusting everything. I'm almost done but I want to take the time to block the pieces after the shoulder straps are done. I'm going to try mattress stitching for the first time and I'm a little excited. Usually I hate to seam pieces but I think it will be fun to "color outside the lines" a bit with this pattern.

I hope you have a beautiful weekend.
*hugs*
Ruinwen
:)

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Soul of the Matter

“My soul is the bridge between spirit and body and, as such, is a uniter of opposites. ...Without soul at center, I would either transcend into spirit or become mired in matter.”
--Marion Woodman


I’ve been thinking about soul and what I believe these last few days. Are we a body with a soul or a soul with a body? Do I believe that there is this other realm where we all go? Do I believe that we reincarnate?



All good questions.



My name means “Reaper”. I’ve always wondered if I’m supposed to harvest stuff or tend souls.



The Sanskrit greeting “Namaste” means,"The God/Goddess in me greets the God/Goddess in you."



I’ve always liked that.



If you asked me when I was 21 I could have told you without a shadow of a doubt what I believed and why. Even now I can argue pretty convincingly about most of these issues.



For instance; when I was learning to knit I just didn’t get purling. I tried for hours and for whatever reason I couldn’t “see” what I supposed to do. I closed my eyes and prayed to DH’s “Gammy” who had recently passed and asked her to help me. With my closed eyes my fingers moved as if someone had lovingly moved them and I made my first purl stitch ever. And when I opened my eyes I suddenly knew how to make the stitch…like I’d been doing it for years.



I know that Gammy helped me. I could feel her love and support blanket around me and fill me to overflowing.



I’d be lying if I said that was a strange experience for me. I talk to the spirits of my ancestors all the time and they’ve answered me in different ways over the years.



I want to believe that the soul lives on…and maybe some of the things that fill us with such joy live on in that soul.



My beloved Mother had a remission to her cancer and this time it is inoperable. She is receiving radiation treatments today…her birthday…my parent’s anniversary. Please send prayers or good thoughts her way today.



I can’t even begin to think of a world that doesn’t have my Mother in it. In many ways she has left us already and that is hard enough.



My Mother was a brilliant person before the dementia set in. As a mathematician of great proportions she would add columns of numbers upside down. She could size and design clothes and sewed many beautiful things for us. I have saved two of her dresses she made me because I couldn’t part with them…one I was married in. She loved crossword puzzles and did them daily…she was always so proud that she could complete them…like there was any doubt?



She was an amazing cook. Her dinners were better then restaurant food. There are still dishes that she made that I just can’t get out because it won’t be the same or anywhere near as good as hers. I’m happy she gave me all the recipes over the years so I can make these dishes that are close to my heart. In the margins are all her little notes making the collection even more precious to me.



Every morning Mom would write me a note. I never tired of them and saved them all. She was always doing little things to make me happy. She liked to be involved in my life and I always told her everything no matter how weird or revealing. It is one of the things I miss the most…just opening up and talking to her.



I was happy that she had time with my son when he was really little. There was a bit of time that they helped me take care of him and I think it really helped them to bond. Yesterday when my little boy was editing his stop motion movie (more on that later), I was reading e-mail and mentioned that his Aunt had suggested making a prayer shawl.


He stopped what he was doing and said, “Let’s pick out some yarn that is soft that Grandma will like. This is much more important then my editing because it is for Grandma.” He ran off and rummaged through my stash as I held back the tears because he is such a rich and beautiful soul.

Now I know why Mom was crying when she found the burnt paper heart between the plates she was heating in the oven that said, “I love you.”



When I asked her why she was crying she answered me, “You’ll know when you have kids of your own.”



I know that Mom can’t remember these things…even when I remind her. I just hope she knows how much I love her…and always will.


Happy Birthday Mom!
Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!


Have a nice weekend,


Ruinwen


:)


Note: The prayer shawl is made out of King Cole Smooth DK...one of my favorite acrylic yarns. I used navy so far; but I plan on using at least two other colors. The pattern is from my friend's post. I was inspired by the beauty of this shawl when I saw it on her. *hugs*

This is my son's debut as my blog photographer. He took the shawl photo. I think he did a great job! :)

Friday, August 06, 2010

The Game is Afoot

Happiness is a butterfly, which, when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will set down quietly, may alight upon you.

–Nathaniel Hawthorne

I know that happiness is just a state of mind. That it is one of those things that is as elusive as the wind. There are rules surrounding it that make no sense to someone who is seeking it. And to find it you have to realize that you never lost it in the first place.

It can exist in din and squalor as well as magnificence and splendor.

For it is not what surrounds us but what lies within that creates happiness.

I have always wondered how I can be happy and terribly depressed at the same time. I can find joy in the silliest things and I love my life. I may have trouble with the chaos surrounding it; but at my heart I am very happy.

I am truly blessed in so many ways and I know it. I thank the God and Goddess every day for all the wondrous people, moments and things in my life.

I’ve been meditating and trying to work through these conflicting feelings and then I realized that life is all about opposites and finding the harmony between them.

For instance I practice the art of “financial serenity”. This does not mean that I do not have bills; but rather that I don’t buy something without knowing I have the money to pay for it. Of course there are always emergencies and in those times I just pull the “belt” in a little tighter on my money for a while as things balance out.

I’ve been working on harmonizing my emotions this summer and it has been really hard since part of me is a volcano ready to erupt and part of me kisses and kindness.

My sister said something to me which I will misquote but it went something like this, “Don’t let the world judge you by the things that make you happy. Just because you like games doesn’t make their impact in your life “stupid” or “silly”. Everyone has things that they do that bring them happiness…be it stamp collecting or fishing or gaming.”

And those words of hers have been bouncing around in my head. People who know me understand that I game. Playing a game for a few hours every day may seem like a waste to some; but to me it makes all the other stuff that I have trouble tolerating…bearable.

Does this mean that my family starves or things that are necessary don’t get done? No. Do I shut out my nearest and dearest to game? No.

You know when couples talk about their “Golden Years” there are rockers and sunsets…DH and I talk about gaming systems, surround sound and plasma screens. Gaming is something we do individually and as a family. And it is something that brings us all great joy.

I’m tired of feeling like it is a “dirty little secret” that I have. I’m tired of feeling like I should be ashamed or that I am wasting my time.

I am a gamer. I love my games. I love cool graphics. I love the puzzles in Zelda. I love creating an egg in Pokemon that has kick attacks and then watching her/him fight all the way to the Elite Four. I love building towers and figuring out what pattern will take out the aliens. I love creating and growing my Farm and Frontier. I love that moment when you’ve tried something for two weeks straight and everything just “clicks” and you ace the level. It is like gaming Zen.

This doesn’t mean that this will turn into a gaming blog. I may share primo moments here and there…but more this was about me accepting another part of who I am.

With the humidity so high I can’t really knit. The yarn feels funny and sticks on my needles. So I haven’t picked up my sticks in weeks and I miss it.

The orange essence is doing the trick. It is nudging me here and there to make sense of everything and my place in it. I feel much more centered again and the chaos is pushed outside of me once more.

I’m looking forward to a fun weekend full of family and friends. I’m going to learn to pick crabs tomorrow and I’m so excited!

Have a blessed weekend!

Ruinwen

:)

Sorry if the whole mind-map thing is messy and blurry. I find they really help me focus on stuff when I'm lost. hugs