Yes, it’s time for another Druidic festival! This one’s a “cross-quarter” day, meaning it’s not a solstice or an equinox. (There’s also a Christian equivalent, Candlemas, so nobody feels compromised reading this blog post.)
The festival? Imbolc, celebrating the very beginning of spring and all it entails, including lambing season, early bulbs, longer days, etc. Brigid, later a saint but first a Celtic goddess, is celebrated along with it and people used to have all sorts of fun making predictions for the coming growing season (Groundhog Day, anyone?).
So praise the lord God (or St. Brigid, or whomever), we made it through another winter. Here are some fun things to do today:
It is traditional upon Imbolc, at sunset or just after ritual [because you’re all performing rituals, I know you are], to light every lamp in the house – if only for a few moments. Or, light candles in each room in honour of the Sun’s rebirth. Alternately, light a kerosene lamp with a red chimney and place this in a prominent part of the home or in a window.
If snow lies on the ground outside, walk in it for a moment, recalling the warmth of summer. With your projective hand [I assume the dominant hand? Maybe it’s your most magical hand?], trace an image of the Sun on the snow.
And don’t mind the stares from the neighbors.
When I get a cat? When I get five cats? When I can’t use my hands anymore? Is there an official point you reach to becom a Crazy Knitting Lady?
Because it seemed perfectly normal to watch both Kill Bill movies (talk about Madame Defarge!) until one in the morning and finish the cabled fingerless gloves (the right one was begun and completed last night, a new record). It also seemed normal, when I discovered I was out of my special wool wash, to use my shampoo instead. As I told myself, “Wool is just hair, really.”
On the bright side, they turned out very nicely and the yarn colors are perfect for early spring–like a Beatrix Potter illustration. When the gloves are dry, I’ll put up a picture; in the meantime, enjoy Peter and Benjamin:
it was this night I believe but possibly the next
I saw clearly the impossibility of staying
Wait and see–I bet I can get at least two more mentions out of it before it’s done.
There’s a long poem by Mark Strand called Dark Harbor, and one section of it starts out,
“How can I sing when I haven’t the heart,
Or the hope that something of paradise
Persists in my song?”
Today, I will demonstrate how easily poems by other people can be adapted to one’s own circumstances. Look!
“How can I post when I haven’t an idea,
Or the hope that I’ll find something to rent
In my range?”
If you couldn’t tell from the title, it’s Virginia Woolf‘s birthday today.
From, of all books, Thunderhead (the sequel to My Friend Flicka), by Mary O’Hara:
“…if you go away from your own place and people, the place you spent your childhood in, all your life you’ll be sick with homesickness and you’ll never have a home. You can find a better place perhaps, a way of life you like better, but home is gone out of your heart, and you’ll be hunting it all your life long.”
I think this is mostly true but a little bleak. But, since this is the sequel to My Friend Flicka, here’s the speech that follows the one above:
” ‘And so–‘ she had leand to him and slipped her hand in his. ‘Here–this–your hand, is home for me.’ “
Aww…that’s why I love the fiction of my youth. Did I mention there were horses on a ranch in it, too?
Well, what have we here? A sweater, completed in about three weeks, made from 12.5 of the 15 balls of birthday yarn!
Sorry about the blur, but the lighting/distance conditions in the apartment don’t lend themselves to self-portrais. At least this gives you the general effect.
Here’s a close-up of the nice buttons. And look at that tidy arm seam! (Seaming is something I just recently learned how to do well.)
I finished it Sunday, and this line from Jorie Graham’s “Le Manteau de Pascal” popped into my head when I was sewing on the buttons:
…filled with the sensation of being suddenly completed —
as then it is, abruptly, the last stitch laid in, the knot bit off —
Really, needs expensive therapists when you have lots of knitting projects and some post-modern poems to mumble to yourself?