Friday, February 27

Personal reflections on the writer's imagination, and also pictures of knitting and cats. You have been warned.

My mother says that people like me build inside themselves a secret world which only they and precious few visitors can enter. The landscapes are detailed and complex, and peopled by imagination and memory (the former being the more prominent by far, according to her). I expect analysts would find a use for it as some kind of mental escape. Figures.

[Clearly, Elanor does not think highly of their opinions. They are, after all, the product of mortal reasoning.]

I have always thought of my world inside and the world outside as having distinct differences not of reality and fancy but more along the lines of faith and imagination, or truth and fact. I'm really not sure why analysts pry, anyway. The world outside has enough problems. It is like an earthly cleric trying to solve faery politics: unproductive, and usually ends with the cleric as a rather bewildered amphibian.

And here's the most recent pair of socks I'm knitting. These are on smaller needles than the last and so are taking a little more time--not much, tho! With any luck I'll be able to wear them on the big transatlantic flight. When I take off my shoes to walk thru security lines people will faint in jealousy, I know it.

Thursday, February 12

Thinking about medieval travel and material objects.

The past few weeks have afforded me little time for anything but coping; when you have dust and mould allergies and the task at hand is to do the final cleaning of a mouldy, dusty house, things can get rather amusing. Then there are the social aspects of saying good-bye to the neighbourhood: though we have several weeks before us, we are already having last dinners and last meetings and last tastes and smells and experiences. The general goodwill of the village and the exemplary hospitality of the individuals therein still amaze me.

[With wool from France; very warm! Just finished these the day before yesterday.]

Still, somehow I end up dreaming. Or, not exactly. Just thinking. I've been slowly changing my daily routines to include medieval material culture; my hair products are all natural now (even my comb is made of horn and not of plastic), I knit my own socks and hats (ok, fine: this is debatable--but it is highly plausible!), bake my own bread, eat my breakfast out of hand-turned wooden bowls, and drink my coffee out of a comfortable little stoneware mug my mother found at a little shop in Glastonbury. All this done while wriggling my toes in their crocheted slippers.

What makes me laugh is that it is so much easier to pack for the relocation process with these things. I don't have a huge hairbrush and large bottles of commercial shampoo to worry about getting caught on things or opening and spilling in my suitcase. I am never bored when I have a knitting project--socks, in particular, are very portable indeed and one can fit in a jacket pocket for those frequent five or ten minute-spans spent waiting or talking. Crocheted slippers are infinitely scrunchable and completely washable, unlike their plastic-soled counterparts. My wooden bowls don't need padding or wrapping in my bag because they are extremely durable. All of these things are comfortable and customisable and familiar.

It makes me feel more sane to have these small amenities amongst so much plastic and mass-produced nonsense. Also it gives rise to a new respect for medieval travel (be it merchant, royalty, or pilgrimage), because I had thought that at least domestic details like these would be more difficult.