27 May 2017

Twist, Grist, and WPI.

There's more to spinning than it would seem.

You can delve feverishly into the intricate nuances of handspinning. The mechanics and measurements. The vocabulary. How to draft, ply, balance, wash, and set it. Dyed vs ecru, fingering vs bulky, roving vs batt vs rolag and so on and so forth.

There is a whole world of interesting textile talk backed by history and tradition blended seamlessly with respectful innovation.

But in the living room, with my feet on the wheel and the roving wrapped gingerly around my forearm like a gauntlet, there is so much more going on.

Spinning is for the senses.

And memory is rooted in senses.

While the modestly prepped llama fiber breathes through my fingers, I watch the twist travel up toward my left hand. I hear the treadles pump, the wheel rotate, the flyer spin. I smell the wool and its wash. Feel the bits of VM flick to the floor.

Part of my mind goes to peace. Smooth, repetitive, artistic motions. In one way precise and monitored, in one way relaxed and accepting of flaws and slubs.

Part goes to the movie on the screen, recognizing that in the gentle motion of the growing bobbin, I am rooted and connected to the space around me and the creatures and people who give me this hobby. To those in the room who watch the graceful cycle with me. To the hum and sounds of the room. Like watching a relative cook on a lazy morning - wordlessly, familiar, with love.

Part of me reflects.

That morning at 6 am in 2012 when I had finished two ounces of karakul, rough, grippy, and smelly. Yarn that felt like straw and must have been strong. Yarn spun in a panic, in denial, in pain. Bent over toward the wheel when I could no longer sit up straight. Crying as I spun yard by yard closer to not being able to ignore it. Yard by yard toward the inevitable. The phone call. The ER. The morphine. The ultrasound. The blood on the ground, on my legs, on the toilet seat, on the gown.

Missing the fiber bar and spin in at the yarn shop.

The bag with the circular needles and handspun that I'll never touch or pick up again.

The two days in fugue.

Thinking about getting back to work. Buying more fiber. Refusing what happened. Too much to process. Just spin. Just feel that peace. Just feel, smell, touch, twist, grist, wpi.

This is my full circle. In the moments that the wheel spins, I am peacefully nodding to those moments and acknowledging that I am still that woman, the wool is still wool, the earth is still the earth. It won't be right. But look at me - I am still.

I still am.

And the wheel spins.

09 May 2017

Three Bad Haikus, But

The sound of you
A warm echo
Across my cooling mind
To which I can stumble
When my day exhausts me
More than I have ever conquered it
More than I have ever wanted
You are more
Than I have ever deserved
And I
Am more
Than I have ever been

05 May 2017

Moving Is Tough

Moving my fingers, is tough.
Moving my legs, is tough.
Moving my

Things out of a house

I once got excited about

And now I tap my fingers and breathe quickly and rub my hair and feel my throat close

When I turn onto the street

When I pull up to the drive,

Is tough.

Being in this house feels like standing inside the skeleton of a massive, dead beast.  I can see where the heart used to beat.  But it lies, swarming with fruit flies, in the crusted dishes and damaged toys.  I can feel the air that used to push through the rooms like living, pulsating breath, hanging heavily around me.

I feel deeply sad.

Unspeakably sad.

Not guilty.  Not angry.  Not confused or frustrated or lost.

Well, maybe a little lost.

Mostly, I'm dismayed, I'm sad.

I used to survive here.  I used to struggle here.  I made some of my best and some of my worst memories in this old, dead beast.  But maybe it's been dead all along, and we just moved into this carcass, wanting to believe it was salvageable with a little clutter here, a little stain there, a little fighting and screaming over in that area.

The illusion is gone.  The screen is down.  I have a lot of things to pick up off the floor.  A lot of things to push into boxes.  A lot, and I mean a lot, of things to leave behind and slough off like scabs.

Moving my things... is tough.

Moving my legs, is tough.

Moving my fingers

Is tough.

01 May 2017

When the Levee Breaks

It takes the smallest, most unpredictable thing to trigger it.

We can be fine. Moving together. I am grabbing the sheets, grabbing at flesh, my mind in the skies, my body absorbed in the feeling, wrapped up in the present and the heat and the friction and the depth.

I feel the walls close in within my mind. My breath comes in short, ragged draws, like I'm drowning and I can't get to the air.  The terror swells up in me.  For a few short moments, I am lucid enough, aware enough, to feel my grip on reality slipping.  Determined and bull-headed, I grab on tighter, furiously insistent on holding on to my surroundings.  I fight it.  I push against the fear.

But it slips over my head and I can't resist anymore.  I'm drowning in a panic, I'm losing the battle, I'm underwater.

I can't speak.  Can't think.  I am underneath someone.  I am worthless.  I am helpless.  I am terrified and useless and nothing.  I feel them using me like a mindless fucktoy.  I cannot leave.  I cannot stop it.  I am a part of it.  I am the cause.  I am nothing, I am nothing.

Weightless under the surface, I float into that realm where I have no control and no perception.  I feel pain.  I feel pressure.  I can't see where I am - the ceiling isn't the right ceiling, the body above me isn't the right body, I'm not the right body.  Everything from the core between my legs, up my belly, down my legs, is screaming.

But I'm not screaming.

I am experiencing.

I am pure fear.  I am nothing but fear.

And as the experience fades, as the sensation comes back in my fingertips, as I begin to be able to move my torso, my head,

I fight

As hard as I can

I scrabble again for my grip on the Real World

I dig my nails into the earth and I pull myself back

With all my strength

And I lay there in myself

Wiped out from simply breathing

I feel embarrassed.  I feel exhausted.  I feel broken


06 April 2017

A Fail to Kiss Is a Fail to Cope




I want to rediscover my younger self. The passion for dance and art. The trinkets. The unashamed love of horses and you know maybe dolphins and shit. The heady high that comes with staring at pictures of beautiful, bright, photoshopped people wearing beautiful clothes. Music playing constantly. Clipping out my favorite pictures of everything and sticking them to the wall. Doodling on something that no doubt had Lisa Frank on it and at least one decal of a winking cat.

I want to remember that I existed before and I have much more history than I thought I did.  I want to remember that I existed in my entirety before 2012.  I get so focused on trying to live now that I forget sometimes how easy it was to live then.

But, I also want a future of stability, animals, gardening, an office with bookshelves and canvases, a place to put my things where I know they will be safe so I can use them, look at them, touch them, wear them, create them. Where I can cook and bathe and sleep and raise my children. A place where I can be found, reliably.


I also want to get into a car and peel away every string that holds me in place like unsticking so many glued on threads from my skin.  Drop every responsibility, be secure in the idea that everything will be safe if I leave it alone, safe and happy and healthy and not let down.

Run, drive, wander.



Touch and feel and eat and sleep in a different place under a different tree in a different blanket in a different climate over and over until I belong to the earth like I should.  Until the ground and I are family.

With no deadline.

With nothing but love calling me everywhere.

I have somewhere to be.
I don't know where it is yet.
I think, maybe, it's too many places to be in at once.

I know who I want to be.  I know my heart is like dust that floats and spreads and dissolves.

I know the fever is both fear and urge.

I know I'll find peace in little moments as I go.

I need to get to May.
Lift my head out of the water and take a deep, desperate breath.

Until then

I can breathe the little bubbles of the bright moments that get me from second to second, day to day, night to night.

Center.  Margin.