Tuesday, February 02, 2010

In Deep Mid-winter...

There was more ice fog this morning, and though not as thick as this photo -- taken last week -- shows, there is hoare frost on the trees again today. This is the time of year when everything is white and silver: sky, snow-covered ground, trees, my Diesel-tabby... When I spend most of each day indoors, cozily writing or knitting or stitching under cover of a colourful throw, a cup of steaming black coffee at my elbow and sparkling classical or soothing soft jazz on the radio.

In winter
all the singing is in
the tops of the trees
where the wind-bird

with its white eyes
shoves and pushes
among the branches,
Like any of us....

...I don't know the name of this bird,
I only imagine his glittering beak
tucked in a white wing
while the clouds ---

which he has summoned
from the north ---
which he has taught
to be mild, and silent ---

thicken, and begin to fall
into the world below
like stars, or the feathers
of some unimaginable bird

that loves us,
that is asleep now, and silent ---
that has turned itself
into snow.

With thanks, from Mary Oliver (Why I Wake Early: New Poems, Beacon Press, Boston, MA, USA, 2004)

Diesel-cat knows how to while away his hours while I stitch. This is the perfect pose for a mid-winter's day -- or evening, for that matter!

And I have been stitching. I've finished the first piece in my "Nature" series, including its mounting on covered, stretched canvas. I am part-way through the next one, working on beading. It's taken me some time to get used to the fact that my style calls for time-consuming hand-work, and to decide to "live with it".

My third project, well underway, is a more traditional piece -- but with some contemporary fused applique -- which will be shown in the exhibit of Canadian Chapters of The Applique Society (TAS), as part of Quilt Canada, 2010. I'm calling it "Ivy for Faithfulness", and it looks like this (so far):

On the knitting front, I finished the socks promised to my daughter, and took them to her in Edmonton this past weekend. Done in Berroco "Comfort", worsted weight (left over from the "Sweet Tee" that I knit last year, they looked enormous -- but fit perfectly, and will be terrific as extra boot socks when she goes snowshoing.

The day is brightening a bit, and a wee breeze has come up, but the temperature seems to be holding steady at about -10C -- just perfect for a good walk. It's time to re-load my iPod with knitting pod-casts, lace up my track shoes, bundle up and set off. I've been entirely too sedentary lately, and that needs to be remedied!

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