Thursday, November 10, 2016

From the hinterlands

Well.  The words that really come to mind are ones I wouldn't like my Grandma to hear me use.  I advised myself this:  "In dark times, be a light."  Ten minutes later, I was screaming obscenities out the car window when a fellow traveler dared to honk at me.  Hoo, this next little while is going to call for some fortitude, I think, and a swift reassessment of where I thought I lived.  Be brave, friends, and love one another.  Remember to be kind.  Remember that everyone you meet is dealing with something hard.  Canadian and overseas friends, please light a candle for us, for we struggle mightily.   Knitting seems superfluous at the moment.  Who has time to care what I'm knitting?  Who has room in their rattled souls to pay any attention to my latest project?  I have bounced from one work-in-progress to another, cast on stuff, searched for the balm that is always there for me in knitting, has always been there.  I pick things up and put them down again, and just sit with my hands in my lap, looking out the window at the amazing blue sky, golden leaves against it, wind blowing the color down to lie on the ground and wither.  There is very little forward progress.  It all looks so hard.  
I can hardly imagine what will happen now.  Catdog, her wagging tail a blur, with her velvet face and silky soft ears and chocolate kiss eyes knows only that there is a warm fire and possibly a cookie, and if I sit down on the floor, she crawls into my lap, presses her face against mine, sniffles my hair, and it is good medicine.  I will make warm things with wool.  I will hold the door for you.  I will probably keep cursing when I need to, and will be as much a light as I can.  Onward.  

63 comments:

  1. I feel the same. My knitting sits in my lap as I lose concentration skills and try to find footing. But, each day I will try and each day I will succeed in finding and celebrating and sharing the light and the good. It is the only way forward. Thank for your lovely blog. I always find so much to connect with here.

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  2. I am not at the light moving forward stage, I am still stuck right in the middle of swearing my head off.

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    1. Hear ya. Fight the good fight, sister. Xoxo

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  3. Sincere sorrow for you there and for all of us. Here in Europe, after the shock of Brexit (swiftly followed by a house fire which left us of no fixed abode for three months), I struggle to make sense of the way the world's going and wonder what can happen next. I've committed to blogging every day this month, and am determined not to stall, though your feeling of 'who cares what I'm up to' threatens to make me give up. But we must go on making good things, caring for each other, cuddling the dog...

    I wish you courage.

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    1. I wish the same for you, my friend. Peace, love, and understanding. Xoxo

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  4. ONWARD is the right word but Boy is it difficult!
    This is like the Brexit on steroid! I just hope this global populist fury does not influence France's presidential elections in May... and in the meantime, let's hope Trump nominates sensible people. I'm not holding my breath though. Argh... this is so demoralizing!

    Wishing you the Best and Greetings from the Windy City~

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    1. We can only hope for the best, and wish each other well, right? Also, hooray for the Cubs! There's a bright spot--unless you are a diehard White Sox fan, I spose... :)

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  5. Thank you for this post. In the spirit of being a light in dark times I am wearing a small jeweled bee pin every day until there is a different President - I hope it will remind me to be a "busy bee" for the good of everyone.

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  6. Yes, absolutely! It's not always easy to see a silver lining but surely there is one if we look hard enough, somewhere, eventually? I felt the same earlier this year after Brexit, it feels like dark times but after dark...

    S x

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    1. That's the true spirit, Sandra! Xoxo

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  7. Thank you for starting this post with images of beauty and love, the folded book and sweet Catdog. Thank goodness for our dogs and books. Mind you, yesterday, like many others I couldn't concentrate to read. We are in shock here too, in New Zealand. My heart goes out to your country that I love so much. Aroha nui (much love)

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    1. Thank you so much for this--hearing words of support like this from across so many oceans gives me much hope. Xoxo

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  8. Oh, wow! My dear friend, Joanne, from the UK forwarded this post. She knows I am struggling with what has just happened in the USA. I am so glad to read that others share the grief and fear. ( But, it's so sad we are at this point.) Still we can do what we can to be a positive force for good. Taking a cue from one of the replies... I don't have a humble bee pin, but I do have several angels. I will wear one every day until I have a new president. I am not one to be an activist, but now I am considering several social justice causes ...& Then will focus on one to become active in.

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  9. So I hardly ever post to blogs...but I read every post. Please know that what you do and share IS a light...it's one of the things that kept me sane yesterday, today and undoubtedly into the future: whatever else, I have my knitting and quilting, I have my blogs and books to read. It is an escape. It is a comfort.
    I'm a teacher. I'm gay. I hear words of hostility and children at each other's throats with harsh words. I worry about everyone...not only myself. There were kindergarteners of color yesterday crying because their new president hates them.

    But there are truly wonderful people out there. There are those who care. There are places of solace and pleasure and beauty and tolerance. Please don't think your blog posts or knitting isn't relevant...they are.

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    1. Lauren, thank you so much for sharing this story--yes, there really are wonderful people everywhere. We are all in this together, guys. Thank you, truly, for your kind words. Xoxo

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  10. Thank you for sharing your despair and sadness with us all. I, too, have been fumbling in the dark that has descended on our country. Knitting, reading, walking, being with my loved ones human and furry--all are of some comfort, but I fear greatly for our country. I was so moved by your post that I felt I needed to comment and thank you for saying so eloquently what many of us are feeling. Your blog has been a source of much beauty and joy for me over the past few years and I definitely feel you (and Catdog!) are light and love shining out to us.

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    1. Thank you--I feel it coming right back, from you, too! We'll just keep on keeping on, won't we. :)

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  11. This result is the verdict of the democratic process. People were asked to choose and they did. Democracy honours that result, does it not? Worry about your neighbours who voted for Trump. He didn't get there by himself, he was endorsed all the way to the Whitehouse. This is what people want and what people think. If by people we mean the majority and that is what a democratic process values. So if you respect democracy then you must also respect the result. You had your say and they had theirs and 'theirs' is what people value the most. If you don't respect that, then you don't respect democracy. We project it as being something to be proud of and to be enforced on some parts of the world in our name, we reckon to be proud of it. Yet if we don't respect it ourselves then we should not be doing that.

    The majority are frequently stupid, wrong or immoral but somehow that escapes our notice and we value them nevertheless. This is what people have been secretly thinking for years and now it has exploded outwards because the tide has turned and they are now feeling they can express those thoughts. Not allowing people to speak doesn't mean they don't think and feel as they do.

    What will be will be, what one can do is set an example among those wrong thinking neighbours to be the change you want to see. Good drives off evil by doing good, not becoming evil in its turn. Hope springs eternal and all is not lost.

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    1. What I truly feel, honestly, is a profound sadness that we here in the US are divided so deeply that we cannot any longer understand each other. Obviously what we all want is a better life for ourselves and our children; it's the path to that result that differs so dramatically between "sides" here. I am a little bit loathe to get too political here, because I don't want to alienate anyone--I feel deep in my heart that the only way forward now is to have honest and kind conversation, in order to find our way back to understanding. Peace and love, friends, to all. Xoxo

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    2. Are you implying that those who voted for Mr. Trump are stupid and unkind? This is exactly why he got elected. People are tired of being called things they aren't. I really don't like getting political on anyone's blog, but it seems several have so I am just jumping in and given my opinion. Hope I don't get shoved away because I disagree heartily with many.

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    3. Not at all, dear. I simply feel that a sad divide has opened up, and I move forward hoping that we can speak kindly to one another, in love and understanding. Blessings to you. xoxo

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  12. Oh I feel for you from the UK. Being a democracy means we have to accept the majority of the people's vote. We had Brexit here you will remember a short while ago and people are wanting another vote but the people have spoken whether they like it or not we have to live with it. Be calmed by the fact that he won't be able to make all the new laws himself he will have to go through your parliament. God bless you and I will keep a light burning for you.

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    1. Thank you, my dear. I will do the same for you, as you face trying times ahead. Xoxo

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  13. It is hard, and frustrating and bewildering but keep knitting lady and hunker down with your dog and family. Love from over the pond. Jo x

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    1. So. Much. Knitting. Love to you, too. Xoxo

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  14. Well, like President Obama said, the sun will rise tomorrow. DT might turn out to be a decent president despite his serious flaws. I hope so, for all our sakes. Chin up everybody.

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    1. We do well to remember these words. :)

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  15. Ah yes... still feeling rather raw myself. I have been exhausted today too. Worrisome times, but this post and reading the responses... there are so many good people in the world. We do have to shine our light in our daily life and be supportive in whatever ways we can, even small ones, of the good in the world. We have to hold on, even if it is against the tide! The tide will turn someday. :-)

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    1. Yes, indeed--doing good works, even in small ways, can add up. Love one another, every day. Xoxo

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  16. A time to lick the stinging wound, then move on to make the world better. Hang in there! And dog therapy definitely helps. Helen

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  17. Sending you a cyber hug from England, these are dark days indeed. CJ xx

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    1. Sending one back to you--life is rocky there, too, isn't it? Strength and compassion, and wise quotes from Churchill will pull us through. Keeping calm, etc... xoxo

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  18. From New Zealand, I know democracy has spoken blah blah blah, but that man made it OK to be racist, sexist and angry. I imagine there are frightened people in the US who feel they have targets on their backs. You'll get through this - keep each other safe. And this blog, sweetie, contains the right amount of warmth and love we all need to wallow in.

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    1. Thank you, my dear. Sending love to you across the oceans. Xoxo

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    2. No, he didn't. Those are the lies perpetrated by our media. I just wish people would stop spreading them.

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  19. We must not despair. Desiderata: "And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should". I am not religious but this poem always settles me and re-instills my sense of direction. Do Google and read. I think now also of Pandora's Box: Nothing left but Hope. But I am afraid too - had NO idea there was so much hate in our country to support a vote for this man -- utter shock. I love you Kristen and your blog makes me happy. You and Catdog are light AND hope. xxoo

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    1. Beautiful! And thank you for the poem reminder--off now to wallow in some word beauty--I love you, too. Xoxo

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  20. Stay strong and carry on knitting - and everything else that you do to live and enjoy your life. Be strong and proud for your family and community. Your country will need decent folks like you to get beyond this. Do not give up. It's easy for me to say this as he's not my president. However I know that the good in America will outweigh the evil. It has to. Come visit Canada for some respite if you wish, then return home to build the best country you can.

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    1. Words like this are so good to hear. Thank you for them, and for your kindness. It makes me feel hopeful. Xoxo

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  21. If we all try to carry some little amount of light forward, it will keep the next four years from being totally dark. I didn't believe it was possible we would elect a man like Trump, and so didn't work much to ensure it didn't happen, beyond staying informed and voting. I won't be so complacent again.

    We can not just write off half of our citizenry, so somehow we must find a way to talk to each other, to hear each other and to see each other as humans as valuable as we find ourselves. Today, that seems an impossibly tall order, but I can see no other day forward.

    I think the dark parts of the wired world, with their ability to foment hate with lies and distortion at lightening speeds was a huge contributor to the outcome of this election. I also believe the online connections created by people like you, who write of love and beauty and creation, contribute to healing and hope. Thank you.

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    1. I couldn't agree with you more--we absolutely have to find a way back to one another if this little experiment is going to keep working. Thank you for your wise and kind words. Love and compassion is the only way forward. Xoxo

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  22. I did not vote for Donald Trump. I did not want that excuse for a man to be my President. Unfortunately, a majority of my countrymen and women did. I will respect the office of the Presidency however, any future respect of the man will have to be earned! We that care for Light, Truth and Hope are now charged with carrying forward those ideals and have a great burden to do so. One day at a time, one foot in front of the other. God help us all.

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    1. So true. I believe in us, I really do. Keep on keeping on. Xoxo

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  23. Gain solace in knowing that you are among many in your feelings of despair, frustration, and disbelief. One person can change the world, we must pool our "kind" strength and be kind to all regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation; and exhibit every day. Only this will beat bigotry and hatred. I think that your "bee pin" should be that every time you post a blog you MUST include a picture of Catdog, the love of a dog is what we need to see everyday. Hugs from a shocked Canada

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    1. Thank you, dear friend. It is heartening to hear such kind and supportive words from our good neighbors. And since there are a trillion jillion pics of Catdog on my hard drive, that "bee pin" should be easy! :). Sending love to you from across the Great Lakes. Xoxo

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  24. While I'm still in shock as well, it is heartening to see so many feeling the same. I like all the pin ideas, and have noticed the safety pin is becoming a quick symbol on social networks. Your crafting is a peaceful and happy thing for people to see, and your writing is always calming, thoughtful, and usually has a funny or happy twist. And who could ever not feel happiness while looking at Catdog, she is so beautiful! Thank you for speaking out, I've noticed a lot of bloggers saying nothing, I'm assuming for fear of making waves or losing followers. Stay strong, stay crafty!

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    1. Thank you, Nica. I honestly believe that the only way we can heal this deep, sad rift in our lovely land is to keep talking about these things, and more importantly, to keep listening. Thank you for your sweet words. Xoxo

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  25. You've described my exact feelings and attitude this week. Finally, went to my lys for yarn and just to look at beautiful things. It helped me pick up my knitting again. Thanks for sharing your lovely blog and beautiful craft with us, and know that it cheers many of us!

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    1. Yes, I think a trip to the LYS is most definitely in order! That's good medicine, too, isn't it? Thank you for your kind words and thoughts. Sending love to you. Xoxo

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  26. Here in Australia we are shocked and scared for your election outcome for you all and us. Our government publicly condemned his misogynistic, hateful comments. We formalised our commitment to the Paris climate agreement a day after your election. In a podcast interview Rebecca Solnit talked about how big events in life can shatter communities but they can also make us be present in a way that can cause us to fall together, as humans with a shared experience, and really connect. And how there is courage to be found in that connection.

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  27. I don't understand all the angst. When my candidate doesn't win, it doesn't ruin my life. I just pull up my pants and keep on working and trying to be the best I can be for my country and for my God. I have never seen so many people who act like the world has come to an end because Mr. Trump won the election. You must all realize there were millions of people that would have felt the same if Hillary had won, but I don't think it would have been this tragic for them. Just hope you all can get a grip and know that there will be another election that your man or woman will win and you can get back to the world of the living. I really wish I understood you all.

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    1. Donald Trump isn't just any old candidate, though. People's world didn't end when George W Bush won the election (twice). Trump is different, and frightening because of what he represents. I'm not American and I am scared that that man is in charge of one of the biggest, most influential countries in the world.

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  28. Keep up the good work, Kristen! You are a light in my world!

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  29. 4 days later, I find myself strangely calm. I refuse the current political climate to take away any more of my days...no more anger, sadness or disbelief. My life, my happiness and that of my family and friends is more important to me.....I will try to make theirs better by the small things I can do. We will survive....I honestly believe this.

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  30. I feel that what D.T. supporters don't understand is that the presidency or prime ministership of any county is an office in which you want people who are worthy of that office and position. Deeds and words spoken by D.T. in the past give people an understanding that the standard of office is being lowered. I just don't understand. Despite the distance, Australians are just as bewildered as Americans. Time will tell. Robyn

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    1. H.C. was no more worthy of high office than D.T. Many people people voted for what they felt was the lesser of two evils. I know I did. And if I was a registered Democrat I would be furious at how the DNC deliberately blocked Bernie from being the candidate. I know several people who would not vote for H.C. just because of that-they either voted third party or did not vote at all for president.

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    2. simply put, if one did not vote against dt, one voted for him.

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  31. Reality TV has come to Washington. I think this goes a lot deeper than "my candidate/political party " didn't win. This is more about the character of the person who was elected. It's one thing to overturn policies regarding health care and the environment, but when you reawaken a hateful, racist attitude that we have been trying to beat down for decades, then fear and anger take hold. It makes me doubt whether this country really made any progress at all in that regard. Has it been simmering underneath the surface all this time?
    My Canadian relatives are shaking their heads.
    Staying away from the news and Facebook for a while, while I keep my family and crafting in the forefront. I'm really hoping something positive comes from all this in the next four years.
    Hugs to you and your family Kristin.

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