Note: full moon tonight. And here’s our morning weather report at 9 am CST. Barometer 30.2 inches. Wind 3 mph NW. Dew point -15. Humidity 77%. -4° Snow
In this deep cold, my needles are at work. Called into service to provide warmth and comfort. Two cowls were knit for my youngest daughter. Mittens will be started tomorrow and hopefully finished before she leaves to go back to college on Sunday. A healing shawl and two chemo hats are in the works as well.
In college I took a Chinese calligraphy course. Before our brush touched the paper, there were steps to follow. Feet positioned first, if I remember this right. Firmly on the ground. Posture was important, too. And then, there was the grinding of the ink. A small amount of water was poured into the pool at the end of grinding stone. The ink stick was dipped into the water, pulling a few drops on to the grinding area. Circular movements of the stick against the stone broke down the ink particles while mixing them with water and creating a fluid. Brushes held in a prescribed manner, tips of the thumb and forefinger grasping handle, the middle finger behind and lower on the stem, giving the artist maximum control.
There are weeks when my studio time feels like that grand preparation of ink I did back then. Monday, after I finished my Lion Brand essay and card, I was determined to do a New Year’s sweep: cleaning, organizing, shedding the unnecessary and distracting, preparing for the work I hope to do in the next year. A box of letters turned up the other day, hidden as they were in a messy drawer I usually try to ignore. From 2002, they included a note from my friend Anne Ylvisaker (resolution-learn to spell her name!) who I had just met. Also in the pile were several thank-you notes for healing shawls. And a card I forgot to mail.
Cards remembered, cards forgotten. Mittens knit and lost. Life does go on, imperfectly at times. And with it, each new year I am filled with hope and enthusiasm. Gripped with an eagerness to greet new work and challenges. Feet positioned firmly on the floor in my almost clean studio.
Happy New Year.