PLANNING ATTENTION

Attention is the beginning of devotion.

—Mary Oliver
Our son Alan and his daughter E.V. wearing the sweater I knit her for Christmas.

I had to think hard about what happened in 2021. It was not a terrible year, not even a bad one. “Inconvenient”, as a friend suggested in 2020, a year that felt much worse. So goodbye to two years of pandemic and hello to a third. I have plans.

Knitting is on my list, weaving, running, travel back and forth from beach to Portland. Working on my perhaps-novel, revisiting some old skills.

In college I wrote with a #000 (triple-ought) stylus fountain pen. I was reminded of this while watching a Korean series with a character illustrating trees and architecture using a Rotring pen. He was using it incorrectly, but it still made me nostalgic.

I drew this illustration of two Afghan Hounds more than thirty-five ago and later found it on a German dog fancier’s website, used without permission, which I then granted. [It’s not a crisp reproduction, and the user has still failed to give credit. The original is probably stored in a file drawer someplace but I’m too lazy to go hunt for it. Besides, what if I couldn’t find it?]

I have a brand new Rotring, purchased years ago and still in the package, so one of my goals for 2021 is to rediscover illustration. It is a double-ought, since triple-oughts tend to clog and was actually not available the last time I looked. I did logos for kennels, advertising for businesses such as a glass-blower and a jeweler back in the day to help finance our dog activities.

On my computer is the go-to-sleep book I wrote for my granddaughter Ruby when she was a baby. I used photographs I found on the internet to illustrate it, but always meant to make ink drawings. Maybe now is the time. Ruby is ten, well past go-to-sleep books. It has occurred too me that in the next couple of decades Ruby might become a mother herself and that I might even live to see that.

Speaking of life, have I shared my experience with the home blood pressure cuff? I was hoping my blood pressure might have gone down, given my weight loss and previous 90/60 blood pressure through my 40s. Visiting “my doctor” was not a serious option. The equipment I bought inflated so tightly that my fingers went all tingly. It seems unlikely to me that my blood pressure has not fallen but risen to 172/103. Ultimately, though the manufacturer tried to make amends, we returned the thing and I will venture on in ignorance.

I ran a mile yesterday. I could have run three but it was raining and I had on a coat.

Here are my 2022 resolutions:

  • remove earrings@night; replace after morning walk/run
  • maintain my weight ≤122 pounds
  • continue tracking diet/exercise/activities
  • aim for 10-25 walking miles/week +1-3 mile runs
  • run a <35 minutes 5k after my 70th birthday
  • less salt, less sweet; more fruit; greens every day
  • clean up as I bake and cook so Gary has less to do
  • put on a new warp each month to use up stash
  • revise All the Daughters Sing
  • edit and illustrate Cows Go Night-Night in pen & ink
  • the cell phone thing

A few years ago I gave away my spinning wheel and sold a huge tub of yarn just to put away some of the weight of obligatory making. There is still too much.

A December warp has only last twenty inches and I will take it off the loom today. Gary chose the warp colors in greens. I wove a length with green weft in light/dark and the second length with more intense contrast of darkest green-black and a bright gold spangled with green and copper. Gary will help me pull colors for a January warp from my stash of Koigu merino and handspun yarns. We can choose from three and one half shelves stuffed with fingering-weight yarn in my barrister case. Weaving a 5-yard warp each month, I hope to thin out my stash by the end of the year. There is yarn for several sweaters, too. So knitting is on the schedule too. I might need to set up an Etsy account.

Ultimately, I would like to do what I did for E.V.’s sweater: see yarn I like, order what I need for a project, make something, and move on. I no longer wish to participate in the only half-joking contest: WDWTMY-W (whoever dies with the most yarn, wins). Been there, done that.

This first day of the New Year, I have no earrings in my ears and no rings on my fingers. I took all my rings off the other day to scrub the shower. (The original wedding ring I made when Gary and I married was not removable for years and I have worn a stack for so long on my left ring finger that it shows a noticeable indent in their absence.) There is more scrubbing to do. I have chickpea miso soup in the fridge and plans for a fresh chèvre cheesecake to be served with a stewed fruit topping already made and waiting.

The novel was printed off a month ago and I have not looked at it since but brought it back from Portland last time we were there. I am afraid to read what I wrote in November. But today. Today I will look, green pen in hand. It might be awful. It probably is.

I’ll find out soon enough.

There is a lot of snow and ice in the coast range between us and Portland. We’d hoped to go east tomorrow, but again, we’ll have to wait and see.

Gary’s photos of me, including the orange agate. A break in the sky. The pair of bald eagles overhead.

8 thoughts on “PLANNING ATTENTION

  1. if you can and are able
    enjoy the thrill of boredom
    because probably it seems so obvious
    you never seem to stop
    which of course is a brilliant way
    to stay warm
    you are as ABBA sings the dancing queen

    Liked by 1 person

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