Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wonder Woman (and My Tragic Realization That I Will Never Be Her)


Fall is upon us, and I sit here wondering where the last couple of months went.  I did a lot.  But there seems to be a long list of things I intended to do and didn't.  And another list of things that I should get to, but haven't.  And, worst of all, the list of things that I missed doing, causing some major crisis or another.

What happened?

I am a high energy person.  I do lots.  I got 1200 yards of cotton spun this past month.

I have indigo dyed it. 

It is now transforming itself into a lovely knitted top.

I have taught workshops, worked on Fibre Weeks 2010 and 2011.  I have raised, tended, and harvested a garden.  I have cooked meals, cleaned my house, done the laundry, paid the bills.  I have done everything but solve world hunger (though there are 8 apple pies in the freezer that may be a good start!)  But, I have come to the tragic realization that I will never be Wonder Woman.

I'm not talking about the comic-book character, who is a princess of an Amazon tribe who can, among other things, move at superhuman speed, commune with animals, and coerce the truth out of villains with her Lasso of Truth.  You, know, the tall woman in the red, white, and blue bustier.  Truth be told, I share many of that Wonder Woman's talents.  And, possibly, some of her wardrobe.

I'm talking about that Wonder Woman of the 21st century.  The woman who holds down an amazing job, raises ideal children who all get straight A's, keeps an immaculate home, and always has a home-cooked, gourmet meal waiting for her tired husband when he gets home from the office.  She is the woman who is the president of the school parent association, leading the bake-sale and hot lunch committees to heights only ever previously imagined.  She is the woman who throws themed birthday parties for her kids, complete with entertainment and appropriately cutsie loot bags.  She is the woman who serves on the boards of local charities, and attends every meeting.  She is the woman who is always immaculately dressed, with her hair and make-up perfect. 

Oh.  Wait.  I was that woman! (Except  for the amazing job--I was a stay at home mom, which was amazing for me, but no so amazing to the rest of the world.)  The operative word here, however, is was.

But something has happened.  I am no longer interested in or have time to get involved in the fascinating details of hot lunch budgets and next month's menu choices.  My kids are well beyond the themed birthday parties--at least I think they are...  Anyway.  I've missed so many charity meetings that I have felt compelled to resign from boards.  Though, I am still a pretty snappy dresser.

I tell myself that I have chosen to slow down, to focus on this little obsession with string and not clutter my life with busywork.  And, for the most part, that is true.  I would rather be making string.  But life has to be taken care of.  Food must still be procured, and sooner or later, the Mount Kilimanjaro of laundry must be scaled.  Bills need to be paid.  Eager learners must be introduced to the mysteries of twist.  Adventures must be...advented?

However, last week. it all came to a grinding halt.  I was felled by a lowly virus.  And when I say felled, I mean knocked flat on my a**.  In bed, wishing I could die, for 5 days.  Incapable of brushing my teeth.  Felled.

I did NOTHING.  Okay, maybe a little knitting.  But, otherwise, nothing.

And something amazing happened.  THE WORLD CONTINUED TO TURN.  The sun rose and set. People got up, went to work, came home.  My input was not required for the normal daily functions of over 6 billion people. 

I cannot begin to describe how liberating this discovery was.  I could just lay there and rest and recover and the world went on. 

Oh, my inbox is something fierce this week, and it will take me forever to catch up on emails.  Mount Kilimanjaro has reached new heights.  We have been eating whatever was in the back of the fridge for 3 days now, and the pickins is getting mighty slim.  But, I have seen the light.

Even Wonder Woman took a day off, every now and then.

So, if things slip by every now and then, let them slip.

I may never be the Wonder Woman that we are all being brainwashed to believe we must be, but I will be the wondrous woman that I am.  And when I need to say no, I will know that the world will continue to turn.  Sometimes, I need to sit and do nothing.

Or sit and make string,  Yeah, that's better.

And that other stuff? 

I'll get around to it. 

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Five Short Stories About August

Here we are in September already!  I've been home from the latest round of travels for 4 or 5 days now, and I'm just starting to get my feet under me.  The two weeks on the road were go-go-go, and I'm exhausted.  Not that that will stop me for long!

Here's some of what happened...

1.  The Boyd family gathered to say goodbye to our patriarch, Bill.   The three siblings, Steve, Mike, and Pat, interred their father's ashes, then we went back to Bill's house for a day of food, talk, and play.  The day was remarkably joyous, with family reconnecting, new discoveries and a whole lot of goofing around.

This is the first time that my three babies and all of their cousins have been together since a family wedding nearly 2 years ago, and it was wonderful.  The phrase "I'M IN MY ROCKETSHIP"  will live on in infamy.

2.  We had flown Lexi up to Edmonton to join us for the interment and family celebration, and since we were driving out to Gibsons that weekend, we all crammed into our Crown Vic and headed westward.  Every family car trip we've ever taken has been more of an adventure than anticipated, so, by comparison, this one was pretty tame.  True, cramming 3 adults, or near-adults, into a back seat for 1500 kilometers is no picnic, but everyone held together pretty well.

Of course, we took plenty of breaks to stretch long legs.  And play.  It makes me rather happy to see that my kids haven't lost their sense of play, and that they have finally learned to play nice with each other.

After all, you know what they say about the family that plays together!

3.  When we got to Vancouver, I did something silly.  Okay, sillier than usual.  I got a tattoo.

Miss Arabella Spider is now permanently spinning her spiral on my left shoulder.  I've been planning this tattoo for months, and finally got to the Eastside Tattoo Parlor, where the magnificent Jessica Pare etched this beauty into my arm.  Spiders mean a lot to me, for a lot of reasons, and I'm pretty happy to look at my shoulder and see one spinning away.

4.  After a couple of hot, sunny days in Vancouver, we headed up to Gibsons for the Gibson's Landing Fibre Arts Festival.  I have to admit that I absolutely adore the community and the festival, and this visit did nothing to change that feeling.  I taught, I shopped, I visited with friends old and new. I ate my annual crab at Smitty's Oyster House.  I may or may not have "liberated" a yarn bomb into the possession of a street musician...

...though there is no proof that I actually removed anything.

The Festival is taking a year off next year due to manpower (or should I say womanpower?) problems.  It's a tough job to put on a festival of this calibre, and some of the board is getting a little weary.  They plan to revisit the way things are done and recruit some fresh blood and be back again in 2012, and I sincerely hope that they do.  This festival is a wonderful thing for all fibre folk, and it would be a terrible shame to have to lose it.  Send your good vibes their way!

5.   Back to Edmonton.  Lady Gaga.  There are no words to describe this concert.  Part theatre, part concert (complete with a massive live band, and a harpist!), part motivational speech, part modern art.  Brilliant!  And, may I just say, that regardless of what you think of her music or her wardrobe, that lady can SING.  Holy cats!

The best part of the whole evening for me, though, was the crowd.  There were the obvious fans, with their Gaga looks going on.  And then there were the seniors.  There were more people in their 60's and 70's there than I have ever seen at a concert.  And a lot of them were up on their feet, dancing with their "paws up".  Awesome!

So, now I'm home.  We picked up some fresh fruit and veggies on the way home, and I spent the weekend  pickling and preserving.  The larder has been stocked.  New purchases have been stashed.  Miss Julia is settling into school.  It's time to spin.  And plan for the next trip...