Thursday, October 31, 2019

Samheim, somehow

This may be the hour
Something move me
Someone prove me wrong
Before night comes
With indifference

I'm ready for this season to be over.

What season, you ask?

Good question. It's not exactly Halloween, or Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or even Autumn.

It's this nebulous and drab season that I'm abysmally mired in for reasons unknown.

There have been bright spots, flashes of light and lightness.

But the gray keeps coming back.

Neil and I went to spend a couple of days in Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

I wasn't feeling it and raised the idea of postponing the trip, but Neil wanted to go.

He'd played in a punishing softball tournament the weekend before. His knees have been bothering him more and more.

He did see an orthopedist who ordered an x-ray, reviewed the images, and said that Neil is the poster child for knee replacement.

Neil of course wanted to try the most conservative approach, so he's been taking prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, bolstered by ibuprofen when he needs more help.

We drove to the park on a Thursday, stopping in Black Mountain for a delicious brunch at Louise's Kitchen and yarn at Black Mountain Yarn Shop, arriving at the park in time for a late afternoon hike. We chose Cascade Falls, an easy four-mile round-trip hike with a gentle elevation gain. Neil was hurting but stoic, until he took a misstep on the way back, and then he was really hurting.

That was our best day.

We checked in to our hotel, which I'd found online and chosen because it was inexpensive and highly rated. Our room backed on the river, and had a little patio which might have been nice if the weather hadn't become dreary and damp.

The room was weirdly configured. It had a double bed set practically up against the front window and a single bed against a wall that sort of doubled as a couch. I'm pretty sure I'd asked for two double beds, but what are you gonna do? If you are with Neil, you won't ask about changing rooms. It had the usual amenities though and was clean, so there's that.

Frankly, being away from home and out of my personal habitat and routines is hard for me right now, but being with Neil makes it bearable, so I made the best of it. We went out and had a pretty good Tex-Mex dinner too, better than any we've found closer to home in fact.

The second day was rainy, and Neil was still hurting pretty badly, so hiking was out. We drove back toward Asheville and went to SAFF - the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair - at the WNC Agricultural Center, in Fletcher. Neil could barely walk from car to venue, so he found a place to sit where he could prop up his leg. I wandered around the vendor areas and bought exactly nothing. Not sure if it was my mood, the dim lighting, the desolate weather outside, or simply not finding any yarn interesting enough to justify paying full hand-dyed-yarn prices.

We drove back to the park in time to buy a mug for our collection, and see some elk, which I have to admit was a bit magical.

Elk don't mind a little rain.

On the way back to our hotel, we picked up subs so we wouldn’t have to go out again in the cold and wet. Got up the next morning and headed home, stopping again for brunch at Louise's, which will now be a tradition on any trips in that direction. That was Saturday, which meant that Neil had to tough it out until Monday before he could call the doctor and start the process for getting knee injections.

By Sunday he had also come down with a cold and was doubly miserable, while his doctor’s office worked through the insurance hurdles to arrange the cortisone and, hopefully, gel injections.

The timing on all this isn’t great, with about a week left until we leave for Dallas and Kandace’s wedding on November 9. I’m drinking lots of OJ, gobbling Airborne gummy gels, and trying not to catch Neil’s cold.

One of the things on my schedule that I was most excited about was an advanced yarn dying class that I went to on Monday. It was a lot of fun, but when it was over I felt deflated, let-down because that thing that I’d most been looking forward to was over.

I do have lots of pretty yarn to work with and a lot of projects in my mind and a couple on my needles. I have my Tuesday yarn group and a workshop in December, some of the bright spots in this colorless (and seemingly endless) life interval.

Things aren't dark, just gray, a painter's palette in shades of gray.

The wedding is a bright spot of a sort, but it’s interwoven with tension. Travel, interacting with new in-laws who I’ll rarely, if ever, see again, having to dress up at least twice, associating with my ex-husband, all the logistics to juggle, it feels like a lot, too much.

Yes, it will be nice to see my children and my grandson, my stepchildren are coming too, and my brother. But it’s a week away from home, and after that, Neil is going to Houston for a few more days. I didn’t want to go this time, but it’s hard to hear him full of plans for seeing a lot of his friends, knowing that he’s probably relieved not to have to worry about having me along.

And after he gets back, he wants to turn around again and go to see his dad and his mom for a week. I get it, they’re each 90-ish and the time to see them is now, not later, because they won’t be here forever. I was just there in August, and as I said then, staying at his dad’s is a challenge and staying at his mom’s means mostly sitting in her kitchen.

I can do that here, at home, where I’m most comfortable and I don’t have to feel guilty about the cats.

When I was in crisis, back in 2001-2002, I would panic at the thought of all the things I needed to do, all the responsibilities piled upon me and me alone. But then I'd remind myself that I didn't have to live the rest of my life today. All I had to do was to do enough to get through that one day. I only had to do the one next thing, one thing at a time.

So right now, I am trying not to look at the bigger picture. I'm coping with each day as it comes. I made it through the muddle back then, and that was a much deeper, darker colored space. I'm not alone now, everything doesn't rest with me, I just have to play my part as well as I can, and as for the rest, well fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.

Trying to end on a more colorful note, here is some of the yarn I dyed.
All the testers and the big cake from my first dye class.

(Come back soon for pix from my advanced dye class)

And just because it amused me, I made a Facebook page called The Dyeing Life. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, if anything. I have to plans to become an indie dyer, to go into production mode, to do anything more than dye the occasional yarn for a personal project. I can rent space for that at Hearts on Fiber, and the owner, Kim, already said she would help me.

And oh yes, here is something else I'm excited about. They are having a contest with some of their own dyed yarn. They are selling a kit with six colors of their stubby skeins and one full "mama" skein that ties in all the colors. The idea is to make something by the end of February, which you can then enter into a contest. I have an idea that I'm playing with in my head and hope it turns out to be an award-winning one.

Vibrant, multi-hued, polychromatic spots abound. All I have to do is to remember to look for them.


I may know the word
But not say it
I may know the truth
But not face it
I may hear a sound
A whisper sacred and profound
But turn my head
Indifferent

I may know the word
But not say it
I may love the fruit
But not taste it
I may know the way
To comfort and to soothe
A worried face
But fold my hands
Indifferent

If I'm on my knees
I'm begging now
If I'm on my knees
Groping in the dark
I'd be paying for deliverance
From the night into day

But it's all gray here
It's all gray to me
It's all gray to me

I may know the word
But not say it
This may be the time
But I might waste it
This may be the hour
Something move me
Someone prove me wrong
Before night comes
With indifference

If I'm on my knees
I'm begging now
If I'm on my knees
Groping in the dark
I'd be praying for deliverance
From the night into the day

But it's all gray here
But it's all gray to me
But it's all gray to me

I recognize the walls inside
I recognize them all
I've paced between them
Chasing demons down
Until they fall
In fitful sleep
Enough to keep their strength
Enough to crawl
Into my head
With tangled threads
They riddle me to solve
Again and again and again
And again


(Natalie A Merchant © Downtown Music Publishing)

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Thanks for your comment! I will post it as soon as I receive it. Liz