Sunday, May 25, 2014

Things

I finished yet another layer on my beautiful blanket.  One more and this square will be done.  It is hard to believe that I only have one square left after that.

When you start a long-term project like this you know that it will take awhile to complete.  You are grateful for each piece that is completed and you keep plugging away at it.  But I think it is good to look back once and a while and remember all those stitches that got you to this place where you are now at.

Goals…hopes…dreams…all take time.  Sometimes it is hard to see that all that stuff you were working towards was no longer hypothetical.

But how I got here…to this place…it wasn't easy.  There were so many metaphysical squares to work through.  I lost a lot along the way and I gained some things too.

When I turn to look at my son whose voice is changing and is turning into a man before my eyes.  I can see that journey that started with a powerful and deep love between two people, has taken us here: to this moment.

Somewhere after I lost Mom and Dad I stopped worrying so much about the past or racing to the future and I have just been trying to live in the now.  Every night I take the past and the future and I lay it at the foot of the Goddess.

Regret is so heavy and does nothing to enrich one’s life.  What has been done cannot be undone.  It is a sad truth, but the truth nonetheless.  Worry is debilitating.  It cripples you and keeps you from enjoying the present moment.  It forces your attention away from the now: and the now is all that matters.

At work I have a can of nuts.  This is not a dirty joke.  It was my Dad’s last can of the tasty treats and I snagged it from his room when he died.  I worked my way through the can and when I saw the bottom shining through I panicked.  Epic.  All out.  Panic. 

As if eating the last filbert would sever my connection to my Dad.  That if I ate that last salty morsel…he would somehow be less with me then he was before I ate it.  As if this can of Deluxe Mixed Nuts actually connects me with him…

It is easy to make a realization like that when you lose someone.  But the truth is this can has nothing really to do with anything.  My memory of him eating nuts was from some olden time round nut holder with crackers and pickers and other little tools.  Yes, he loved nuts as a treat…just like sunflower seeds and a ton of other little snacks.

A lot of life is like that.  We assign importance to things and they become so for us because of our thinking.  If I see a potato chip that is folded over or puffed up I think of Mom.  She would pick them out because she said they were the best.  I probably always will think of her when I see one of those chips.  When I eat sausage I think of the time Dad said, “The Goodyear Blimp,” and pointed out the window and he took my sausage when I looked up.  

Memories…I have so many of them.  Mom and Dad are with me because they live in me not because I have held on to their things.

I hope each day to be a little stronger and to be able to let go of things that I’m only holding on to because I have given meaning to them.  Maybe I should start with those nuts.  Tonight I will lay them down at the Goddess' feet and ask for the strength to let them go without regret or worry.  I will ask for the strength to see that things even if someone you love sat on them, ate off of them, read them, wore them or hoarded them away...are just things.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I've reached “acceptance”.

My Dad is not in these nuts or all of the things I surrounded myself with when he died.  Throwing away his toiletries is not in any way disrespecting him.  I haven’t lost him or betrayed him if I weed through and get rid of the things that have no real connection to him now…my father lives in me and nothing can take that away.

As I said before there was a moment when I realized that all these things that he held, touched and cherished were only special because he had animated them with his strong spirit. 

There are things that I will keep regardless and they have deep meaning to me in some way.  I haven’t created a connection to them; the link to my Dad is there.  For instance when Dad let me wear his dog tags for my M*A*S*H party I was really touched.  I knew how special and irreplaceable those were to him and that he let me actually wear them was a gift beyond measure.  I wore them a lot after he died under my shirt like he must have done throughout WWII.  Right now they are on my altar by his picture just like my Mom’s favorite bracelet is sitting by her picture…and she is even wearing it in that picture.  These things are more then the sum of their parts because they contain memories.

This can of nuts; not so much.

Even so, simple gestures like these are not easy and they take time to be able to perform; but in the end letting go of the things that have no real meaning makes room for more things that do.  


Deep breath...bye bye nuts.

I love you Daddy.


On this Memorial Day I remember you and all those who fought and continue to fight for our freedoms that we enjoy.  I will wear your dog tags with pride for all the years you served in WWII.

There is a yellow ribbon on a tree outside our house for all the families who wait for their loved ones to return.  My prayers go out to every military family.  I cannot sum up the words of gratitude I feel towards these men and women who serve every day...they are all heroes.

Blessed be,
Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

It Doesn't Add Up



Progress on the blanket was had this week.  I completed two whole layers since I was woefully behind my sis and needed to catch up.  This proved to me what I could accomplish if I just tried a little bit harder.  I was able to knit despite my migraine and other distractions, which was nice.  It felt good to accomplish something.

I have been trying to write a pattern and failing.  I swatched for about 2 good hours until I realized that my previous idea would not work with my current project idea.  Flat vs round, cowl vs shawl: I couldn't get anything to work.

One pattern was a repeat of 5 +2 which meant that my border which was a repeat of 11 allowed for the casting on of 77, 154 or 231 stitches.  This looked like it would work on paper but this pattern grows each round and I would loose that magic "divisible by 11" number.

For whatever reason I can't just "create" something.  There has to be a reason, an inspiration, or some kind of aha moment.

I thought that I knew what that was.  I can see it so clearly in my head but I can't bring it forth.  The math won't add up.

I have let it be this week to work on the blanket squares.  But I need to come up with a new class for next month and I'm running out of time.

So yeah, that's where I'm at and it is frustrating but each pattern has it's own process and I just have to wait for something to make sense or be revealed.

I'm not going to force it, because that just doesn't work.

I have folders of patterns that didn't work just waiting for something to make sense so I can create them. The way I see it they are just like little plants that haven't bloomed yet.  You know that whole Mulan thing: the flower that blooms in adversity is the most beautiful of all.  I don't see them as failures.  I don't see this as a failure...and isn't that just all mature of me and all?



But I still need to come up with a class and my head is killing me so I think for now I will just do some questing in ESO with my family and see changing my mental track helps me come up with something new.  Here is a picture of my Dark Elf Healer that I play with my family.  My DH made her armor and I just love it!

Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)


Thursday, May 08, 2014

What is Your Glyph?



My son had a project this week to make a glyph with three items that represent him.  They couldn’t be obvious; they were meant as a way to open discussion about him.

For instance a round circle could stand for a basket ball, a sunny day, a full moon or anything round.  The kids would have to ask questions and guess what the circle stood for.

I thought this was a fun little exercise and decided to try it for myself.




I first thought of a heart because I love hearts; they make me smile.  I love, love and romance and the bonds that form through friendship or a deeper love.  I love family and the idea of a bond that runs through generations of ancestors.  I love that anyone can be family.  I love that love can be extended simply through a purr or a hug.  True love is unconditional like the love the God and Goddess have for me; or how my Guides are always there even when I’ve left the path.  I love that two people can create something as beautiful and wonderful as a child.  I love to give to others; many say I wear my heart on my sleeve.  So a heart seems really appropriate for me and maybe too obvious to some. 



I think my second symbol would have to be a ball of yarn.  And really I can tie ;) that into so many things.  Cats love yarn balls; so in a way this honors my connection to my fur babies.  A ball of yarn is limitless potential to me; it can become anything.  It is more then just my knitting, crochet, weaving or anything else I do with it.  It connects me to my creativity; it allows me to design new things.  It allows me to teach and connect with the Community who in turn teach me.  It weaves my thread in with others who also enjoy the craft and have become part of my life.    The Alchemy that is involved to transform a ball of yarn into something new is magic to me.  A yarn is another word for a story; I love to write and even if it is only something that I do for myself, it still is a huge part of who I am.  This blog is my story and through it I am connected to people all over the world; talented wonderful people who inspire me every day.



My third symbol would have to be from a game, because we all know how much I love to game.  This one is hard since I have enjoyed so many games over the years.  There are three that really stick out lately; Pokemon, Elder Scrolls on-line (ESO) and Minecraft.  

Pokemon have been with me for what seems like my entire life.  I once had one refuse to release itself into the wild to stay with me.  

Minecraft is new but I really like creating something and playing with the family is always the most fun.  We have built such a beautiful base on our world.  

But the thing that really helped me get through the death of my parents was Skyrim part of the Elder Scrolls saga.  Being able to channel all that grief into fighting for people who needed me was very cathartic.  With ESO I get to play with my family and once again I find a deep sense of letting go in the game.  I love just looking for materials to craft with; it is so relaxing to me.  

We were introduced to the Elder Scrolls by my nephew back when he was playing Oblivion; he also introduced us to Minecraft so many years ago now.  I can play ESO with him as well even though he is miles away which, makes me smile…it makes all of us smile.  

But ESO is more to me because my husband works for the parent company.  It is more then just a game to us; it is a nod to all those creative people who put this amazing game together and we are a tiny part of that.  My husband loves his job and the people he works with.  They are a special group of people who care about their employees.  When it snowed they had hotel rooms ready for those that couldn’t make it safely.  They really care and all that resonates in the game for me; which is why my third symbol has to be from the dragon language of Tamriel; my last name is Silverdragon after all.  :)

So I would choose RO – BALANCE.  It was in the first shout I learned and balance is the glue that holds it all together.  Games balance me out, they are something I can do with their family and / or friends and they are fun.  And a little fun should be in everyone's life.

So there you go; hearts, yarn and balance…that is me in a symbolic nutshell.

What is your glyph?

Hugs and happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, May 04, 2014

MD S&W


We had a fantastic day at the MD S&W festival.  There was something for everyone.

I found beautiful yarn that makes me smile when I see it and even more when I touch it.  The blue and green is from Maple Creek and it has sparkles in it which only aid to accent the way the yarn gently shifts in color.  

The pink and blue gradients are from Miss Babbs and they are stunning.  The above picture doesn't really show how lovely the gradient changes are, so here are some others to show the five yarns in each kit.


Here is the pink.

And here is the blue.

I got them to make Spectral, a beautiful little cowl that shifts in color.

We got to see something this year I have never seen in all the years I have been going to S&W, the sheep got out during the sheep dog demonstration...twice.  Those dogs set off and rounded the sheep up from the fairgrounds and got them back in the pen.  After they realized that the sheep were just going to escape again they guarded the opening in the fence.  They are so smart and fascinating to watch.  What a show!

Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)