Monday, March 19, 2012

Feathering My Nest

There be geese on my horizon. I am wrestling with geese right now. They are flapping and honking and beaking  me. I love a good wrestle. One of us will emerge victorious and when the mud is washed off and the cuts and bruises are bandaged, I will display the fruit of those efforts here. Meanwhile, there are feathers everywhere. And there are things that come with Monday that preclude extended wrestling matches.

Here are some things from my weekend that I collected:

The feel and weight of bamboo and silk yarn in my fingers and across my hook. The drape and the sheen of the fabric they made together by the marvelously simple repetition. Hypnotic. Stitched into the whole experience is the knowledge that my mom will wear this sweater as she embarks on a brand new adventure, a life-long dream, and a courageous act of healing.

My jBird on my lap. So heavy, her head sticks up taller than mine, her boniness digs into me as she snuggles, her legs drape almost to the floor. But she sits and snuggles still. She turns the eyes toward me from an angle I've seen then since her birth. So dark and intense and thin veneers for everything under the surface. Her dimples and gums as she grins and closes her eyes, hugs and is happy.

The Chief Lou, who smiles and encourages and loves. I watched him flirt with the old ladies at church. I watched them twitter and giggle and clutch his arm in hilarity. He was telling them how much he liked my leather pants and my new haircut. He spreads ease to people in a way I find enviable, and I watched him, for a few short moments make a recent widow laugh uncontrollably and feel young and daring and fun again. My heart opens and opens and opens with love for him.

My Hooligan and his best friend sitting together, sharing books. She is a little younger, a little smaller and he knows it. Ever conscious, ever gentle, he shares and defers to her. They draw each other pictures and whisper secrets in each other's ears. They hold hands and pray. The Hooligan prays that "everyone who might get lost will find their way home" and I blink away tears. He tells her a secret and her laugh is explosive, surprisingly deep. In a fit of pure delight, he kisses her on the cheek and plays with her hair. He does this because this is how he expresses love to people that matter to him. An innocent, pure gesture of genuine affection for his friend.

A dear friend lolled about on the floor of my crowded living room with me. She saw my kitchen in disarray. She was close enough to the carpet to see the spots. It didn't matter and we talked of things that mattered. We talked like friends in comfort, silly, teasing, serious, wondering, blurting, madness. Three hours passed and I wondered why she thought it was time to go. Good friends are rare. Especially the kind that don't mind that your kitchen is a mess.

I picked apart a ball of fear in much the same way I do my beloved yarn. So tangled and claustrophobic at first, it's easier to just chuck it in the back of the closet and forget about it. It's not easier, though. I know this. I sat and unraveled, patiently, vigilantly. Strand by strand I sorted it out. I picked it apart and untangled the knots. I wound it into something useful and beautiful. The beauty of decision, of aligning and analyzing, of letting go and watching it whip too fast to see, round and round on my winder, turning it into something solid and manageable.

I will be back to speak of water fowl soon. In the meantime, read my inspiration most fowl: dbstevens at Kicking Corners has ruffled my mental feathers with this and this.

18 comments:

  1. Good luck with the unraveling ... (:
    It's easier in the long run.

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  2. Despite the links, I tend to think it must be somehow my fault that now waterfowl have worked there way into your writing. Very beautifully, I may add. :)

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    1. It is about 78% your fault. Your link is coming... oh yes.

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  3. The Chief Lou sounds incredibly kind, and I love the way you talked about your love for him.

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    1. He is incredibly kind. I am incredibly lucky.

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  4. These were beautiful little vignettes into your life. I love how you tied them all together with images that lent themselves throughout -- your yarn (awesome how you made picking apart your fear more tangible with this image -- I loved this, and it's a great visual to have now when I'm facing fears of my own), the smiles and laughter of your family and friend, the messiness of life which is okay because there's also all this joy and love.

    Thank you for sharing little bits of you.

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    1. Yes, yes. Thank you. Yarn and knitting are metaphors for just about everything!

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  5. Beautiful, dreamy. All those important people in your life lovingly put together with feathers.

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    1. Thank you. This comment is poetry in itself!

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  6. So sweet, tangled lou. I love this little picture of your family.

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  7. aw, lou, i was just swinging by; i didn't think you'd make me cry!

    thank you for your beautiful writing. sometimes i forget that i'm not the only one making my babies sit through a church service and it was especially sweet to read about your little hooligan and his friend.

    thinking all good thoughts for your mama. i'm off now to share you with my facebook friends. peace out, sister.

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    1. Aw, thanks Wendy! Thanks for stopping by and sorry to make you cry. :)

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  8. You know, fear is my four-letter F-word. I love the image of picking it apart strand by strand.

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