Monday, September 23, 2013

'she's a machine,' or, a simple life

Yesterday afternoon I was showing off my most recent knitting projects to a fellow knitter and dear friend, and I found myself feeling embarrassed at how prolific I've been in the last few months. Just since June I've finished two marigold shawls, three seaglass shawls, one mohair ivory shawl, one tussah silk bridal shawl, one rose and gold shawl, and this scarf and this scarf and this scarf.

I, only half-joking, said, "Clearly, I have no life these days."

She, in her ever supportive way, said something along the lines of, "Emma, don't say it like that! You're making these beautiful things."

Later in the afternoon another knitter friend joined us and we spent a lovely couple of hours drinking tea and chatting and working on our various projects and I found myself saying the same thing again. And again I was embarrassed, though this time not about how much I've been making, but rather about how I was portraying myself -- as this person with no life, with something to be embarrassed or ashamed of.

Because the thing is, right now, I am truly loving the life that I have, in all its quietness, in all its creativity, in all its solitude.

This past Saturday I got up at 6, met a neighborhood friend in the gorgeous early morning and walked up to the farmers market.  I bought maple cotton candy, bags of apples, a pound of honey, several ears of fresh corn, and a bagel. We walked back through the park and home, and it was lovely. I spent the rest of the day at home finishing that second marigold shawl and working on a chuppah, and having a really good telephone conversation with my brother.

Sunday I also got up at 6, worked on the chuppah and drank tea, and eventually walked up to Marble Hill to meet a friend for breakfast. We made our way back to my place and spent the afternoon knitting and and making apple sauce with all those farmers market apples, and then by 4:30 I was alone again.

This week I have plans two evenings after work, lunch plans in Brooklyn on Saturday, and a photo shoot for an hour or so on Sunday. And the rest of the time, when I'm not at work, I will be reveling in this alone-ness. I will be working on beautiful things and drinking tea and rereading stories written by friends of friends.

Next time I have bags full of shawls to show off I will not say I have no life, but rather will say quite honestly, "Clearly I'm on a roll these days."

And tonight? Well, as my dear boy recently put it to a friend of his who was inquiring about how finish shawls so quickly, "She's a machine. Give her bad TV and Chinese takeout and whammo."

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