Sunday, April 21, 2013

Gnu Gnu's mitts

I cheated once when I was in the eighth grade.  Mrs. Nod, a very patient woman with an enormous sense of humor, was my geography teacher at the time who had given our class an assignment to memorize the fifty states and their capitols.  For some reason, I couldn't remember the exact location of several states on the map and so right before the test, I wrote the troublesome states on the palm of my left hand for assistance.  I knew this wasn't right.  I was a good student and usually worked very hard for my grades, even in junior high school, nevertheless, I cheated... and didn't get caught. The guilt I later felt over that A that hadn't been earned was enough to end my cheating career for good. A decision I didn't regret until a couple of months ago.

queen st. mitts by glenna c.

Back in December I held a giveaway for a pair of fingerless mitts I had knit up using a soft merino wool that had been home spun and dyed.  I appreciate all of the wonderful ladies who participated in that contest and I was very happy that KC won them fair and square. However, Gnu Gnu, a dear reader and friend of the family, wrote in for the mitts as well, and expressed how she had entered every one of my contests over the last three years and had yet to win.  Gnu Gnu has been very sick for several months with a cancer that has returned after she had been in remission for several years. When I learned about how sick she was, I thought of the contest and at once wished I had rigged it-felt guilty that I hadn't.

Route 2 colorway by Plucky Knitter

However, regret has a way of propelling us into action in an effort to fix things.  And so these mitts were knit up to do just that.  Women in churches all over the world have been known to knit prayer shawls for those in need with the idea that attached to each stitch is a prayer for comfort and if possible, healing.  I want to will these mitts to have the same outcome- cheat the cancer this time around. If there was ever a test that required some cheating, it would be this one. Why not, damn it.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

present tense

  And always the mention of the child changed him.  The change was in his eyes: they focused; mention of the infant introduced the present again.  
  And that was the point of children, thought Caroline Middey: to bind us to the earth and to the present, to distract us from death.
-The Orchardist, Amanda Coplin

It was late March when the sullen sky relinquished the first heavy snowflakes of spring. Since moving to Pennsylvania, I've come to accept that March is nothing but a long drawn out tease that playfully offers her sun-warmed kisses one day and her bitterly cold bite on the next. However, with this particular snowstorm, I was happy for the surprise.  And so were the little guys who wasted no time making use of the snow before it melted away at the end of the day. 

I wondered at how easily they jumped to the task of making forts and snowball barricades, as I stood hovering over a sink full of dirty dishes waiting to be washed - just one more dish and I'll go outside and watch, nab a picture.  Mr. Cook and Mr. Ninja were so proud of their work.  Their smiles were contagious-all from the simple act of play.  If only I could capture this spontaneity for myself, put it in a bottle and freely drink. 

The other night after everyone in the house had sundered off to bed, my curiosity began tickling me over the science of the spirit (unrelated to spontaneity I know, but hang on, I'm getting there).  For a few years now, I've been using a tapping technique (EFT) that lifts and relaxes my mind in a matter of minutes and creates a physical sensation in my chest-a pressing weight over my heart- that happens at the same time. The feeling is pleasant, not one of suffocation a person might experience with a heart attack.  In my Mormon days, I'd experienced this exact feeling after saying an earnest prayer and I attributed the sensation as a "prompting of the spirit" or an answer from my Heavenly Father.

And so I began to wonder if there was a scientific explanation for this sensation which has also come unexpectedly when I've been in need of comfort or when I've needed to make an important decision.  My Google search didn't produce the results I was hoping for but I did stumble across this video that later had me pondering about how I might bottle my sons' spontaneity after all, and live in the right hemisphere of my brain a little more often than I do.

By doing so, I imagine the questions about the spirit will resolve themselves in their own due time- just as they usually do.