Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Counting my blessings: one, two.

It must be the light, or staying up too late,  because I never "fall back" from Daylight Savings Time easily.  My intuition is off.  To simply tell the time of day requires focus.  My father in law said about his Parkinson' s disease, "transitions are hard."  He was mainly talking about making it through a doorway without freezing up, but I take it as a truism,  the human condition.  Change is hard.

Possibly, since it's the season of giving thanks, and I'm feeling pretty disheartened politically,
I have been trying to keep track of what I am thankful for.  I get lost in that, because everything
is nuanced, good, but then again,  maybe not so good.  Sometimes it takes decades to know what the true blessings are.  I weave paper and linen, and call it a House Blessing, because I think it's a good idea to make something to attract blessings, if possible.  Like my daughter, who staying home from school one day, bored and sick, wadded a bunch of tin foil around some rabbit ears antenna on my old black and white TV,  and brought in the miracle of a snowy, vaguely distinct picture.
To see TV in our valley we needed a satellite dish,  and we opted out.  Even after Sofia tinfoiled the antenna, we still saw every program through a snowstorm.  It was years before we knew what the cast of "Friends" actually looked like, not braving a blizzard on their couch, in their coffee shop.  Jennifer Aniston! Get your parka on!  By that time we'd upgraded our system to an old 10-foot tall antenna, leaning in a spruce tree in the front yard.  One of the kids, usually Carl, had to go out in any weather, and twist and turn it, until we yelled from inside the house that the picture was pretty good!
Is it any wonder that all my children have decided being urban dwellers suits them very well, thank you.

But I have blessings to count, at least 2 of them, very unambiguous ones.  First,  my magic wet-dry, tangle free, hair brush from Bed, Bath and Beyond (my brothers-in-law call it Bed, Bath, and Boredom). The brush is amazing, even miraculous, and was worth the trip, guided by my daughter, Ursula and her smart phone, to a BB&B store on the crest of the ridge in Duluth.  The Brush looks like nothing special, with flimsy plastic bristles, a little cheap.  But after I'd tried hers in my long, thick, strong hair, and it went through like butter and soft scrambled eggs, I was a Believer.  This brush allows me to wear my long hair in a "messy bun" on top of my head,  a good style  for a weaver, without dreading the brushing.  I'm  also pleased to wear a recognized hair style, as opposed to my usual "hair style"  which, if noticed at all,  surely prompts the thought, "Oh, too bad, she's letting herself go."  Oh, vanity!   Now I love to brush my hair, morning, noon and night,  no tangles, no tears!  Bed, Bath, and Beauty.  Word.

The second blessing was a gift to me from my 3 children, who pooled their money,  years ago, and bought me an iPod Shuffle, in palest aqua blue, engraved with the words, Singing Teacher, which is another story, but which makes me weep a little just seeing it.  The thing is, I don't know how to use stuff like this.  I've kept it like a little shrine, but never hoped to be able to figure out how to get any music on it.  Recently, one of the children asked to have it back,  if I wasn't ever going to use it!

 Just like that I got music, iTunes, my computer syncing, docking, etc. all figured out.  With music on the damn thing at last, I plugged in the earbuds, and took off up the road, riding my bike, empowered.  I can still hear the river, cars coming by, the wind in the trees, distant planes, but now there is a soundtrack.  It's like riding in my own music video.

I peddle along the river,  hearing "Let's Go Down to the River to Pray",  and I feel like I'm the star of something.  In the next few minutes I'm hearing "I'll Fly Away," just as an honest to goodness bald eagle flies off a branch, floats down in front of me, and glides over the river, and off across the corn stubblefield.   A crow or a red-tailed hawk would have sufficed.   Hallelujah! (I have to buy that and put it on my play list!)  You know what? Just getting to live my normal, everyday life is the blessing.


Judy Martin said...

I love your posts.
Your writing and your photography take me away and give me back to myself.

Alice said...

I second what Judy said. You rock.

Hilary said...

It is, truly,a blessing, just to have an everyday life. I am grateful for every day I get of that one simple thing.

Dawn of LaTouchables said...

A great read, Susan. We may live in parallel worlds, but they seem pretty similar to me--except my hair is short. I'll have to find my ipod and learn how to use it again...

Susan said...

Ha,ha.Thank you, Judy and Alice. High praise, coming from you. This blog has helped me gradually to find what I'm trying to say, to find my own voice. Taking pictures does the same, helps me to see what I'm actually looking at. Just as weaving leads me to discover what my work is about. I realize that this is artistic "process", a concept i never grasped before. Your patient reading this practice is enormously encouraging to me.

Susan said...

Hilary, you were the one that impressed that very idea as a truth to me. I was actually thinking of you when I wrote it.
Thanks for that.

Susann said...

Dawn, I second that iPod emotion! My hairbrush allows me to have "messy bun" as my legit hairstyle. Because of this brush, I can stand keeping my hair long enough do it, and I'm not always two months behind needing my hair cut. My precious vanity!


Judith said...

This is a wonderful post! I love your wisdom and humor and remembrances and joy in individual moments past and present.
I am in total agreement with the articulate gratitude of the previous comments about your writing.
I also enjoy no longer being on the haircut schedule.
And the photos? Lovely as well.

Jenny M said...

First, your photos...the pile of your scarves/wraps, I just want to pick up every one of them and take in the colours & texture. And the photo of the light coming in thru the window and across the wall & the table, just beautiful.

And now I have a lovely image of you riding your bike and the notes of 'Lets go down to the river' floating thru the air. Thank you for sharing your blessings.

Dirk said...

Tuned in just now, on a whim. Must be the foil. Got one of them brushes, by the way.

Susan said...

Dirk! I'm always confident discussing family secrets on this blog because I'm pretty sure none of you are going to read it. Surprise!
This time I've got grandpa, Sofie, Urs, you, Robt, and Carl! I love my family! It's why I tell stories about you.


Carol said...

Dear Susan,
My own 2 blessings: 1)I get to be a weaver; and
2) Every now and then you post one of your beautiful blog entries, feasts for the mind and the eyes! Thank you.

(The mundane rears its head. Which brush is it, exactly? My daughter-in-law has hair that brushes the backs of her knees and is impossible to buy gifts for.)

Susan said...

Carol, Getting to be a weaver. That's an important one. I'll write it down.
And, thank you so much for reading my intermittent, and probably strange, posts.
I added a link, in the post, to the hairbrush. I had the same gift idea for my long haired friends and family.


Dian said...

Ha. I just checked your blog at mom's house and I read your blog to her. Love the dad reference. Dorothy loved the music story on your bike, sounds lovely. We love you and miss you. Dian and Dorothy said...

A true blessing is everything that around us. We have all his world to live in and to be happy. Of course, sometimes troubles happens, but please, do not let them upset you too much. God bless you!

Susann said...

Dian, oh funny. I'm always surprised when my family reads my blog, and find themselves in it. It never occurs to me. I 'm glad you and Dorothy liked reading it. It's funny how often I find myself remembering little stuff about my family. I like to write those little stories because you're interesting people, and I just want to keep those little memories. I'm glad you're there with Dorothy now, and hope you're having fun together. My love to you! Susan

Unknown said...

Your work is beautiful. I went to your store, but nothing is shown. Where can I see your work available for sale?

Beautiful blog, btw.


Susan said...

Thank you. My online etsy shop is where I sell most of my weaving. When I have 4 or 5 new scarfs ready, I put them up for sale. Each scarf takes up to 8 hours to make. I don't make many of them. I announce when I'm going to update my Etsy shop, on Instagram. I usually post some pictures of the scarfs that will be in the new group on Instagram, too.


cristina said...

Beautiful photos... anf beautiful words.

I really need one of those brushes... I cut away half of my hair, so at least I don't sit on the plait ten times a day, but they are still long enough to be a tangeled mess in the evening.

And I really, really want one of those scarfs. Hope I don't miss them on Etsy next time:-)

Susan said...

Cristina, I'm so pleased you like my pictures, etc. I think you'd like this brush, too.
I'm so happy I found something that actually improved the quality of my life, but didn't require anything of me but $10. I didn't have to restrict my calories, or talk myself into meditation, or give up gluten, make peace with my past, or read a manual. The novelty hasn't worn off, yet. I think I'll go brush my hair right now!


Gloria Freshley Art and Design said...

Hi Susan,

As always, your blog is such a joy to read! Always such wonderful writing and photographs. Happy Holidays to you and yours. Gloria

Susan said...

Gloria, thanks for reading it! Christmas might be snowless this year. Let's wish for a good
New year, more art, less guns, if you know,what I mean. That right there would be a huge gift


msvos said...

Merry Christmas, Susan. Much gratitude for all that you've shared of your work, your beautiful surroundings, and your process. It's been a huge inspiration to this fledgling weaver. Laurie

Susan said...

What a wonderful thing to hear! Thank you. I'm so happy if you find inspiration to weave from me.
That's the way it works, imagination to imagination. It's a mystery. I certainly have worked because of so many artists who have inspired me, and owe so much to them. I hope you will be weaving imaginatively for a long time, inspiring other fledglings!