It’s been a rather nasty winter, to tell the truth. People have been people, for all values of “people”; I have been human (for ALL values of human, believe me); my body cramps up in the cold, and for some reason, both Melody and I have been hearing Buddy’s tags jingling around the house at odd moments. I wake up because I hear him barking.
I gotta say, sobbing because I dream of Buddy, only to wake and realize my beloved dog is gone, is a great way to start a dreary December day. Just peachy.
I don’t know if other folks do this, but on bad days, I fight back by wearing my favourite clothes and jewelry. Like armor, right? Gifted armor that shelters me from invisibility, from loneliness, from all the Goblins of Winter. My shield, knit or sewn or woven or gifted, proclaiming I Am Loved. Every day, I don at least one thing that someone who loves me made for me, or gave me, or long-term loaned me. Lately, it’s been a pair of adorable silver owl earrings that my BFF gave me.
Those earrings remind me that she loves me, and that no matter what lies Depression hisses in my ear, I am still, and always will be, Myself, a Wiseheart.
Good friends remind us of who we are. Their respect and love gives us the courage to be more ourselves with each passing day. It’s hard to be My Self: I am loud, friendly, outgoing, and will chatter with strangers in the oddest situations. I am also moody and I think too much. I dress like a Berkeley hippie artist, I carry stuffed toys in my purse, there is usually a melted chocolate in one of my pockets. I steal a baby’s nose, kiss it, and then gently press the freshly-kissed nose back into place, giving it a wee nudge to make sure it is on straight. I compliment strangers, I hug trees in public, I greet every living thing within sight while other folks watch and roll their eyes. I weave, I knit, I quilt. I spin yarn. Heck, I even spin embroidery thread.
I am weak, because Chronic Pain/Illness (::ominous background music::). I am strong, because, well: Chronic Pain/Illness is not for wusses. I am lonely and spend way too much time alone; I have friends, close friends, good friends, literally all over the world, and I can talk to them every day on my computer. My soul sings when I write; I seem to have the worst case of writer’s block for about half the year. I become more real every time I lift my voice in song; I am terrified to sing for others because I once did it for a living and people paid to hear me sing, and now I sometimes have the idea that they were all just being polite. (They weren’t. I know that.)
I finally got my dream job working for a publisher of yarnly books and magazines, and I walked away from it when I was insanely successful because I was not strong enough to fight the evil that is Upsell and SEO and Marketing. (Yes, money is lovely, and yes, we were there to make money. However, I personally cannot make money by using my god-given gifts to prioritize ads above content, to persuade my own community to spend money they may not have on things they may not need, and to treat them like six-year-olds in the process.)
wow. um. a rant. how did that get in here?
Ahem. Back to Friends and Handmade Gifts.
Last year, a whack of knitters decided that they each would knit me a pair of socks to help me get through the winter. I got green socks and pink socks and plum-coloured socks and striped socks and blue socks; I cried every time a new pair arrived in the post. These socks have become quite precious to me, and they are treated as though they are the best part of my wardrobe (which, in fact, they may be).
A few mornings ago, a bad day was made even worse by the necessity of issuing a First Warning letter to the Sock Gremlins.
Dear Eaters of Socks,
I see that you have been busy this year. I appreciate your help in goading me to discard some socks which were becoming quite ragged; thank you for filching half of those pairs so I had no choice but to toss the remaining singles.
I will say that you Sock Gremlins perform a much-needed service to our community. As mentioned above, you help us to let go of unworthy socks when the time comes. You nudge us to clean behind the dresser, to look under the bed, to run a broom handle under the dryer. This cleaning is both essential for tidiness and for the continued happiness of our feline children, who dance with joy when reunited with long-lost toys. Sometimes, we knitters even find such treasures as an actual tape measure. We thank you for your role in the smooth running of our households.
We also applaud you for helping to start new fashion trends: wearing mis-matched socks in public. This habit is now seen as “cool” and has been adopted by children who are thrilled not to have to bother matching things. Also, by some grownups who like to be a tiny bit irreverent.
This time, you have gone too far, Sock Eaters. This time, I will put locks on my sock drawers (one for handknits, as you well know, the other for the mundanes) so that you will find no sustenance in this house.
For here is the evil you have done: you have stolen a piece of my heart. You have DARED to touch a sock that was hand-knit by someone who cares about me, and as I have not been able to find that sock for two months, I can only assume that you sauteéd it with Gold Bond Foot Powder and a teaspoonful of Tinactin Anti-Fungal Creme, and served it hot at one of your Winter Sock Harvest Banquets.
You…you…you monsters, you. How could you do such a thing?
If you return this sock to me, I will consider unlocking one of the sock drawers. ONE.
The mundane sock drawer, of course.
No love from me,
Did I mention I think too much?
~ Do you know where your pet is? The satellites do.
~ A recipe to cheer us through the blizzards of life: Dark Honey Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce and Whipped Cream, oh my. (I doubt this one is gluten-free, low-cholesterol, low anything. Food Pr0n!)
~ Press Upload to Shoe. (Might as well track the humans, too.)
~ Speaking of Her Majesty (we were, weren’t we?): Off-Roadin’ It with LizBet
~ And finally, I leave you with this: Archival Integrity
Writing takes courage. I am trying not to be too much of a chicken these days.