Friday, January 31, 2020

I have seen the light....

......I am constantly affected by the quality of light. Sunlight, to quote John Denver, always makes me high. I find dimly lit rooms depressing, harsh lights irritating, and neon of any description, unless it's Hollywood, soul destroying.  On the other hand, lovely windows, filled with light have a certain ethereal quality. They restore the spirit, soften the mind and redeem the soul.

Our writing word for today is "opaque" - not able to been seen through. To me opaque also means the absence of light. If you can't see through something, but it allows light in, than it is translucent. I don't mind, if I can't see out of a window, as long as it admits light. I don't need a transparent world, but I do need a translucent one.

I should then dislike the word, opaque. Ironically, I don't. It rhymes with "cake." What's not to love. Seriously, though, it's not so much the meaning of the word, that I like, it's the arrangement of the letters. Can I really say that I like words that start with an "o" or that have a "qu", without seeming too "queer." :)

As a wordsmith, I think I can like a word for its meaning, as well as, its arrangement of letters. Onomatopoeia, for example, is a favourite, as is pique. I could go on, but only another wordsmith would understand my obsession.

Let's just say that words bring us from the darkness into the light. They can pierce the opaque, explain the obtuse and generally, delight, as well as, enlighten the mind.

"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." - Leonard Cohen.

The pictures? Studies in light.

Have a brilliant day!

Saturday, January 18, 2020

In your beginning is your end....

I love oxymorons - phrases that seem to be contradictions, such as "less is more" or "more is less." Our writing word for today is "birthday." I immediately thought of the title of this post. With all the joy of coming into this world, there is the sad fact that you will leave it at some point.

On the positive side, however, by being born you get to explore the following:

1. You have inherited a sun sign. It might not be a great road map, but it could give you some clues, as to directions that might be taken, at critical points, along the way. Yogi Berra, for example, had a great sense of direction, he often said,  "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." or "Nobody goes there any more, it's too crowded." These are also borderline oxymorons - yes, life is a conundrum.

2. You have been given body parts that determine whether you are male or female. Your own idea of whether you consider yourself male, female, either or neither is up to you. At your birth, however, you were assigned a biological identity. This is not a social identity. The latter, will come later, once you're socialized :)

3. You have been given a culture, possibly a religion, and most certainly a nationality. Some of these you will change as you journey along. For example, I consider myself an Irish Italian with German roots. Raised by German grandparents, I ate rye bread and black pudding sandwiches, to the embarrassment of my Irish grandmother, who reminded all of us - there were 19 cousins - on a regular basis that we were Irish and could, therefore, fight with the best of them. How I came to love pasta is a mystery.

4. With your culture and nationality you will learn a language, possibly several languages. You may, in fact, go on to learn many more. You may, even, invent your own language or choose not to use language at all. Personally, I lean toward the invented language. I use the word spreckles from time to time. It's a cross between sparkles and freckles, as in, "The sunlight speckled the water."

5. Finally, for this post anyway, you will develop certain dominant characteristics. You will be either outgoing or retiring, emotional or cerebral, factual or intuitive, structured or flexible. These are the Myer-Briggs personality types. I am actually retiring, cerebral, intuitive and flexible. That is, I never like to make plans too far ahead. I hate being bound by commitments, especially on a day when I just want to explore something unplanned and intuitive, always alone - people are distracting....oh, and did I mention I have trouble with empathy, unless you're a cat, of course, you're on your own :)

Sunday, January 12, 2020


I'm back to coupled writing! After a break for the holidays, my writing partner and I have again begun giving each other words for posts. My word is "conundrum," taken from the latest book by Malcolm Gladwell, Talking to Strangers - more on the book later.

I love conundrum. It sounds like the bumbling fools we are, when we're trying to work out the answer to a problem. In fact, I was faced with a number of conundra (It also has Latin roots - what's not to love.) over the last few weeks. I have been re-knitting some of my patterns for shawls and scarves in DK weight yarn, which is a little heavier than the fine lace weight I originally used.

Well, all knitting is different and the same knitting worked, say ten years apart and in different yarn is still very different. Here were some of my problems.

1. Ten years ago I had knit Blossom using a rayon yarn and a small lace flower stitch, called Quatrefoil.  I used the stitch as shown in a stitch dictionary and knit it like this. (A)

                                                                                             0 /
                                                                                        \ 0     0 /
                                                                                              0 /

Well, while knitting a scarf, headband and matching mittlets (fingerless mittens) ten years later, I realized that the stitch could also be worked as follows: (B)

                                                                                             \ 0
                                                                                        \ 0      0 /
                                                                                             \ 0

or like this. (C)

                                                                                            \ 0
                                                                                        \ 0     0 /
                                                                                              0 /

Now which one to use, was the conundrum.

Actually both A & B worked well for the scarf because one side of the scarf could be worked as A and the other side of the scarf could be worked as B. This would keep the "0"s aligned, when the stitches shift for the second half of the scarf - some people who knit actually have PHDs in math, engineering and/or political science. I've never trusted the poly-sci ones, though :)

I used C for the headband and mittlets because they needed to be balanced, unlike myself ;) So you have it!! Conundrum for a lace motif, solved.

Have a problem free day!!

PS I have finished 3 other lace sets, each with its own special conundra. More on them later.