Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Carolina dreaming.......

In just over a week's time, I'll be travelling with my husband and 2 of my 3 children to the beach, actually to Hilton Head at the southernmost tip of SC. I can't wait. Certainly it's the idea of a holiday, of being with family, uninterrupted by work, of eating too much SC shrimp and spending too much time in the sun, sand and water but it's also about going to the ocean!

Even though I have spent most of my life landlocked in southern Ontario, I am fascinated with the sea!

I love poems like John Masefield's, Sea Fever

"I must go down to the seas again to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by."

or The Sea, by Byron
"Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean-- roll!

There is so much about "casting your bread upon the water" - about taking chances, about enduring fate, that is caught up in the image of the sea.
I know that we can be challenged by mountains, and by journeys overland; but the sea is more mysterious. For me it is like Art, itself - vast, deep, unpredicatable.......or as this quotation suggests "Art and business require you to play by the rules, without knowing them." I am reminded that the sea has her own rules - like life - we are asked to navigate through the storm without knowing the rules and/or the forces that maybe with us, or against us.

And so I will go to Hilton Head and re-affirm my relationship with all that is unpredictable - I did not have to leave home to do this. But I have a chance of a holiday and I love to be transported. We all know that knitting is a great vehicle. It transports us to places we have never been - to different locales, different eras, different stratas.

Come with me to the sea through these seaside knitting patterns.

My favourite is Sand and Sea designed by Dorothy Siemens of Fiddlesticks Knitting. It's a favourite because it is knit in organic cotton and it has a very festive "We're on holiday" feel about it. It remains me of European beaches that have those little striped canvas tents as change rooms. There is always activity - picnics, games, flags waving, dogs barking, the constant rush of the wind and flush of the waves - in any picture that I have ever seen of Calais or other seaside towns.

When I first saw Sand and Sea I was amazed at the excitement that Dorothy had brought to an otherwise - unexciting yarn. Environmentally important yes, soft and subtle, yes, but not exciting. Well, let's face it; sustainability, however necessary, is not very exciting - I don't think that taking out the garbage has ever been considered "sexy". No matter how short the skirt, how high the heels or how cute the neighbour - composting and sorting through trash can never be considered sexy.

Yet, here is Sand and Sea Wrap, with all the excitement and romance of the French impressionist painters. Such, I guess, is the power of the artist to raise the mundane to the level of the sublime. More seaside knitting later. For now, I must get out there and turn my compost heap - hey do I know how to have fun!!!!



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