I’ve been knitting socks for Doc’s pop for the past few years and not making any for myself…because I was never happy with the fit. (These rainbow socks ended up way too short in the foot and I gave them to a friend.)
But at some point this month I realized something: I could try different sock patterns and research sock construction and make better socks–all for me! (Finding this sock designer on Instagram was the catalyst.) That spread into diving deep into the #yearofsocks and #boxofsocks hashtags and now I have enough yarn for at least half a year of socks (I’m still a slow knitter):
I have half of January’s pair done and already tried a peasant heel on it, vs my normal heel flap. I’m enjoying learning, but let’s be honest–I’m enjoying shopping for all these bright colors just as much.
I saw this phrase on Instagram regarding a winter garden and had to look it up. According to this master gardener column,
Elliot Coleman, author of many books on organic gardening, uses the term “Persephone period” or “Persephone days” to describe the time of year when the days have 10 or fewer hours of light.
After about January 25th in our latitude, we start getting a little more than 10 hours of light–helpful if you’re planning spring seeds or just so, so over the dark and cold.
I keep going deeper into Mental Health Instagram and I am totally fine with that. I found The Female Warhol account last week and I really love seeing these therapist words photoshopped on billboards and public signs:
1. Another good find from Laura Olin’s newsletter: a compilation of works by Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou, an Ethiopian nun (she’s still alive) who sounds like Chopin, if he played a hybrid of blues and jazz. I’ve had it on repeat since last weekend.
3. I got a new PR on deadlifts yesterday at the gym–190 pounds! This is accurate, as you’ll know if you ever talk to me for more than 15 minutes.
2. The Princess Bride memes are the best memes:
A literal bright spot in yesterday’s emotional roller coaster was poet Amanda Gorman reading in her yellow coat. I mean, she could have worn anything and done that reading and the entire world would still have fallen in love with her, but just look at this fashion (it’s Prada):
If you didn’t hear it–or even if you did–listen to her read “The Hill We Climb” again and marvel at this 22 year old and her perfection. The kids are all right.
Today marks two years since my mom died of pancreatic cancer. It’s also Inauguration Day and the person responsible for so much needless suffering over the last four years is losing power. The best of times, the worst of times.
I don’t have a lot to say today. I saw this poem last week, linked in Laura Olin’s newsletter, and it made me cry–I think because of the hope, and tiny beautiful things in with the awful things.
You Can’t Have It All
But you can have the fig tree and its fat leaves like clown hands
gloved with green. You can have the touch of a single eleven-year-old finger
on your cheek, waking you at one a.m. to say the hamster is back.
You can have the purr of the cat and the soulful look
of the black dog, the look that says, If I could I would bite
every sorrow until it fled, and when it is August,
you can have it August and abundantly so. You can have love,
though often it will be mysterious, like the white foam
that bubbles up at the top of the bean pot over the red kidneys
until you realize foam’s twin is blood.
You can have the skin at the center between a man’s legs,
so solid, so doll-like. You can have the life of the mind,
glowing occasionally in priestly vestments, never admitting pettiness,
never stooping to bribe the sullen guard who’ll tell you
all roads narrow at the border.
You can speak a foreign language, sometimes,
and it can mean something. You can visit the marker on the grave
where your father wept openly. You can’t bring back the dead,
but you can have the words forgive and forget hold hands
as if they meant to spend a lifetime together. And you can be grateful
for makeup, the way it kisses your face, half spice, half amnesia, grateful
for Mozart, his many notes racing one another towards joy, for towels
sucking up the drops on your clean skin, and for deeper thirsts,
for passion fruit, for saliva. You can have the dream,
the dream of Egypt, the horses of Egypt and you riding in the hot sand.
You can have your grandfather sitting on the side of your bed,
at least for a while, you can have clouds and letters, the leaping
of distances, and Indian food with yellow sauce like sunrise.
You can’t count on grace to pick you out of a crowd
but here is your friend to teach you how to high jump,
how to throw yourself over the bar, backwards,
until you learn about love, about sweet surrender,
and here are periwinkles, buses that kneel, farms in the mind
as real as Africa. And when adulthood fails you,
you can still summon the memory of the black swan on the pond
of your childhood, the rye bread with peanut butter and bananas
your grandmother gave you while the rest of the family slept.
There is the voice you can still summon at will, like your mother’s,
it will always whisper, you can’t have it all,
but there is this.
1. Sea shanties are all over social media and I am here for it. In fact, I’m about ready to sign up for TikTok, since that’s where they’re all starting. This bass dueted a solo this Scottish postman put up:
@_luke.the.voice_##duet with @nthnevnss love this 🥰🥰##stitch ##viral ##sing ##fyp ##foru ##foryou ##xyzbca ##xyzcba ##blowthisup♬ original sound – N A T H A N E V A N S S
And then it spread:
@jonnystewartbass##duet with @the.bobbybass SHANTY TIME once again! Adding a lower middle harmony 🙂 @nathanevanss @_luke.the.voice_ @apsloan01 ##shantytok ##wellerman♬ original sound – N A T H A N E V A N S S
And now everyone is doing it:
@majin.bae##duet with @sampopemusic I- uh, *smoke bomb!* ##literalduet ##seashanty ##rowmebullyboys ##piratecore ##apple ##fyp ##MoneyTok ##larpersoftiktok
♬ original sound – Sam Pope
2. He has a point:
3. It’s been a long two weeks (remember the coup attempt?!) but I have Monday off. I’m taking Tuesday off, too, so I will be back on Wednesday–a day that’s going to be great (Inauguration Day) and terrible (the second anniversary of my mom’s death). Such is life, I guess. Have a good weekend, friends.
I’ve been sitting on this article for a few weeks now, but it seems like a good time to post about “The Myth of the Male Bumbler“–as more and more violent insurrectionists are arrested, how many of them will say they just got carried away in the spur of the moment? They didn’t realize what other people had planned? Gosh!
As Lili Loofbourow writes in The Week,
“Incompetence is less damaging than malice. And men—particularly powerful men—use that loophole like corporations use off-shore accounts. The bumbler takes one of our culture’s most muscular myths—that men are clueless—and weaponizes it into an alibi.”
It’s a great piece (if you want your blood to boil) and after you read it, you’re going to see that alibi of incompetence everywhere.
It’s been a minute since we’ve had any Mary Oliver. I’ve posted this before but seeing the poem typeset is nice (from my new fav account). Also: “Joy is not made to be a crumb.”