One!

Some weeks ago I saw the most beautifully dyed little package of Wensleydale locks at the St. Alban’s farmer’s market. Dyed locks is what I got. Dyed locks is not something I need to buy. But both Xopher & I just couldn’t stop admiring that blue, so I bought the locks. There wasn’t enough to make a skein out of, so mixing was unfortunately necessary. I hope I did it justice. First handspun skein of the new season.

Looking for rusty reds to pair it with
Pretty against pretty
E’ finito

Book Corner 2021.52

by Woody Allen

Am I a bad person because when I saw Woody Allen had a memoir I immediately wanted to read it? Am I a bad person because I thought it was funny and I enjoyed reading it? Am I a bad person for finding his account of the whole molestation mishigoss is credible? No! I’m a bad person for other reasons, not these.

He’s funniest talking about his early life. Once his career takes off it seemed to get more matter-of-fact; once we are in his late career, the movie titles flying around and actors and actresses who were all wonderful, drop-dead sexy, beautiful, amazing, a joy to work with, etc. etc. and all the other famous people he’s met and known, well, it makes your head swirl a little.

So it wasn’t wall-to-wall comedy, but it was enough to be worthwhile and remind me why I’m a fan.

Incidentally, my favorite of his movies in order are:

  1. Annie Hall
  2. Manhattan
  3. Stardust Memories
  4. Love & Death

Yeah, really going out on a limb there, I realize.

And incidentally if you want to read something supportive of Mr. Allen, this statement by his adopted son Moses may be the best.

Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!

I wrote to the great Oliver Burkeman and the great Oliver Burkeman wrote me back!!!

I wrote this.

I feel like there is a contradiction underlying Four Thousand Weeks.  One thread is basically this:

  • Nobody cares what you do with your life
  • You can’t get anything ‘out’ of life – nothing fits through the exit door
  • Hope you don’t tune me out for quoting classic rock, but “All you touch & all you see, is all your life will ever be”

And OTOH, you are constantly repeating some variation of the following: all of this should feel liberating and exhilarating, because now you can finally be freed up to focus on what matters.

But isn’t the first thread trying to convince me that, actually, nothing “matters”?

I do find the first thread liberating and exhilarating.  But when you keep telling me, “Well! Now, time to get on with it!  You know, that thing that REALLY MATTERS?”  I’m like, what, what, what?  I’m supposed to have a mattering-thing?

He wrote,

“Thanks, Chris! Fascinating point.”

And he wrote more. But I don’t think it’s right to publicly publish his words without his permission. Except for that “Fascinating point” bit, no way I’m not mentioning that.

Basically he argues that the first thread is meant to clear away illusions so what matters for you can bubble up to the surface.

I Don’t Mind What Happens

Generally one weekend right around this time of year you will be bound to find us gourding.

Today’s Burkemanian quote is from ‘modern-day spiritual teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti’, who partway during a lecture leaned forward and said ‘almost conspiratorially, “Do you want to know what my secret is?… You see, I don’t mind what happens.”‘

What Me Worry

“Worry, at its core, is the repetitious experience of a mind attempting to generate a feeling of security about the future, failing, then trying again & again & again…” burkeman

“In every life we have some trouble, but when you worry you make it double; don’t worry, be happy.” earworm

Book Corner 2021.50

by Sebastian Junger

The author treks west across Pennsylvania with a group of other former combat veterans, following railroad tracks, secretly camping wherever looks safe, and eating big diner breakfasts and dinners. Why? Not clear. We find out way near the end that Junger is going through a divorce, which may be relevant.

I did not realize that it is illegal to walk along railroad tracks, thus “trespassing on railroad property.” I certainly didn’t realize that it’s as illegal as it is in this book. The group of hikers is constantly dodging into the woods, wondering if distant sirens are for them, wondering if someone who said hi is going to turn them in.

But precious little of the book is about hiking, camping, roughing it right in the middle of civilization, or our narrator’s journey. It’s digression, digression, digression. Ireland, Native Americans, Eurasian nomads. The overarching theme is not freedom, but fighting. All the digressions were about warriors, basically. Not interesting to me. Not the book I thought I was going to read.

Problems

Maybe instead of counting their blessings, people should count their problems.

a) Maybe counting your problems will get you used to the fact that ye problems, ye will always have with ye

b) Maybe counting your problems day after day and noticing how you nevertheless continue to exist and function would be therapeutic

Problems! I got ’em! Count ’em and weep!

Tonight I have a goat who is very sick indeed. Not even the one who broke her horn.

The Goat-Owning Problem-Free Life

So I haven’t gone on about this yet, but this past weekend was shearing weekend. And we went out Saturday morning, a beautiful day, all gung ho and set to shear as many goats as we could… and Columbia’s face was COVERED in blood. In the barn we found a POOL of blood. She had suffered a grievous horn injury – and not the first time; in February 2020, her other horn had come off right in Xopher’s hand. And horns bleed a LOT.

Ouch!

I almost felt like I wanted to pass out, but Xopher was relatively nonchalant.

The next day he tells me he wants to saw off what’s left of the horn she just injured. It was really long and curly, and we don’t know exactly what happened to her Saturday morning, but having a really long curly horn is just going to be really prone to getting caught on things, knocked around, and injured.

He assures me that horns are only alive for a few inches, and most of the horn that we see on an adult goat is just like hair or fingernail. But I’m totally squeamish – sawing off an already injured horn. Ich! Ugh! But what can I do? I put the whole thing in his hands. I sat there and did my part to hold her down while he sawed away. First he was using an electric rotor saw but it fell and got busted early on, so he had to resort to a manual hacksaw.

I sat there trying to mentally check out as much as possible. And I thought about this passage:

“Most of us treat the problems we encounter as doubly problematic: first because of whatever specific problem we’re facing; and second because we seem to believe, if only subconsciously, that we shouldn’t have problems at all.”

Really how many times do you tell yourself that? Usually it’s in the context of how much money we have, and how “first world” our problems are. We start ticking off all of our blessings, and literally say to ourselves, “Hell I shouldn’t have any problems at all.” But of course we have problems!

So I sat there thinking about how the problem-free life will never happen – certainly not the goat-owning problem-free life. And here holding a goat down while my husband saws off her injured horn – it’s just one more of those problems, those problems that always have been and always will be.

And reader, that helped.