Category Archives: Music

hand-made knits

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I have a friend expecting their very first baby. So I knitted a little vest. It is a new pattern to me that I got from Soule Mama’s blog. I just have to attach the buttons and then it will be shipped off in the mail. My friend is due any day so it’s all very exciting!

A reason that I love knitting is how portable it becomes. I can remember where I was when I was knitting this, and past projects. This little vest has been knit in my living room, in my comfortable bed, knitted to “A Serious Man” (movie) and “An Education.” It has been knitted while listening to Johnny Cash, Tragically Hip, Wailin’ Jennys, and a lot of Alabama 3, a hint of Tommy Emmanuel and Ashley McIsaac. It has already travelled to a Farmer’s institute meeting, to Victoria at a birthday dinner, to work and back to ease the boredom if the power cuts out.

The whole time I’ve been knitting this one, I want it to fit me. I want to climb into this soft wool, and parade around in a new little vest. I am small, but I am not this small.

Made anything fun lately?

Space Between

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There is fiction in the space between
You and reality
You will do and say anything
To make your everyday life
Seem less mundane
There is fiction in the space between
You and me

When I walk back and forth to work, then home for lunch then back to work, I get a chance to think, to listen, to re-evaluate. It is my “space between.” The verse above is from Tracy Chapman’s song “Telling Stories.” I’ve been thinking about the different stories that I’ve seen that I would love to tell and how to write them properly, with dignity and with consideration for whom I’m telling the story of.

A friend of mine gives her children a mandatory “quiet time.” When I was young, before breakfast we had to have a quiet time too. This forced reflection has carried on with me and I try to make time for it during the day so that I can process, recalculate and gain perspective.

Though, in another conversation I had this week, I must be aware that I do not let the “space between” be all encompassing, thus forgetting me and reality. As beautifully put by a dear friend, I don’t want to be a head that my legs just walk around. I want to be present and involved in the moment so that I don’t miss it as it scurries past.

Do you build in a time to process into your day? Or week? Do you also have difficulty balancing between living in the “space between” and living in reality?

(The picture of the anchor I included above is what I’m currently searching for in my space between. With John’s passing, I feel I am one less anchor in my life and I am floating rather aimlessly. This anchor symbolizes what I want, to be grounded.)

Tinklin’ the Ivories with Beethoven

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Lately I’ve found myself crawling back up to the keys, with an apology for abandoning them so long. And re-introducing myself to Beethoven.

Now when you think Beethoven, do you think crazy hair?

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Or do you think of the 1980′s kid’s movie?

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I hear Beethoven and I think music. Moody, deep, pounding, or a crooked little tune, or haunting and crying. Beethoven is probably my favourite composer.

How can someone born in 1770 still stir my soul?

I wanted to learn how to play the piano so that I could learn Fur Elise. It was a grade 5 Royal Conservatory song, which means that, starting from zero, I had a lot of grades to go. But as soon as my teacher gave me the music, I learned it. It is one of the few songs I still have memorized. When you lean toward something for so long, it still seems precious when you move your fingers along the familiar song.

My next big Beethoven was Moonlight Sonata. I loved that song. I had the music, but it was hard. Patiently I plucked over each note, strung them together like Christmas lights and slowly the melody emerged. I love this song. Especially on rainy days with the wood stove going. It is most appropriate for me on a drippy gray morning, played slow.

I am now leaning my sights to Sonata Pathetique. I have the music and I am bent on learning it.

Ask me in a few months how I’m doing. What goals have you set for yourself lately?

Lately…Twirling

Lately, these have been my activities:

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-Preparing an asparagus bed, (they take 3 years to be edible, best get started now)

-Planting strawberries

-Visiting farms/gardens to haggle where the bee hives go that are coming in June.

-Reading “A Circle of Quiet” and today, finishing it.

-Writing a story for a children’s competition that is now too long to be entered.

-Walking to and from work

-Unearthing someone else’s old garden

-Beekeeping

-Wearing skirts (the last two days)

But as my husband and I were just discussing, listing the activities of someone’s day without accrediting emotions is really doing no justice to one’s activities. Something taken out of context is not the real picture. I have been thinking that I should learn more about soil PH levels, I should know what to look for in my sprouting asparagus or zucchini, I should be researching what grows where or when. But instead, I am doing the learning through osmosis. Through ontology. (That date with Dictionary is paying off.)

Instead, I celebrate as my black bean braves the wide world and sprouts on my window sill, leaves still pucked behind their bean-shell. I am astonished at my bees because their pollen sacs on their legs, like little luggage sets, are stuffed with bright yellow pollen to the hive, even though I’ve given them a whole patty of pollen at their disposal. I do not only smile, I grin inadvertantly at the glow of the pink flowers on the Japanese Cherry trees popping up in my neighbourhood. The splash of Pink! (Pink is such an incredible word) It makes me feel cheerful and girly.

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I walked to work yesterday morning and as I crested my little hill at the end of the road, the electrical Al drove by. He yelled out his window “It must be Spring!” And I twirled and flounced in my skirt for him. What music do I hear in my ears on Sunny Skirted Days? Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Wailin’ Jennys. Girls! And what do I smell? The intoxicating smell of lilies, orchids, daffodils, tulips, gerbers. Girly Girly Girly! Celebrate!

I am woman, see me twirl!

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Take those Blue Suede shoes off that Hound Dog!

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Elvis Presley was born January 8th, 1935 and died when my mom was 17 years old. But I love his music. I realize his influence as an international rock n’ roll icon and all that fame and glory surrounding The King, but what I know is that his songs cheer me up. They make me swing my arms, shake my hips, jiggle and wiggle and move to the music!

There are so many things about Elvis that fascinate me; the fame surrounding him, twisting him into what he became; his musical influences, the black gospel, the blues, pop culture; society’s reaction to him. I suppose that it astonishes me that some people make it to the limelight but most just fade away.

Elvis does not have lyrics that inspire the mind. Jailhouse Rock is about dancing in prison, Hound dog about a shady character who whines and lies. Treat me Nice is about just that. There’s nothing awe-inspiring in these themes. They do not compell me to write and explore the deeper meaning. But man, are they fun to wiggle to! The bass line, the tune, that Elvis way of singing, it gets me grinning every time!

What music gets you grinning?

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