Monday, July 20, 2009

Alice Walker's Overcoming Speechlessness

Sitting at the dining room table, enjoying my first cup of coffee, I read Alice Walker's tale of horror and hope. Her essay is called Overcoming Speechlessness.

As I read and thought about my family and the comforts we enjoy, the tears came. It is simply beyond my capacity to understand how people can act in this manner; I have trouble just eating meat because I know it once had a heart that beat blood through its body, and a brain that formulated thoughts.

I remember as a child, hearing my parents say how fortunate we were to have been born in such a wonderful country, fortunate to have the things we had, to have never been touched by war or famine or any of the atrocities we heard about.

Why do I get to live in relative safety, while others are brutalized and murdered in their own homes? How come I can watch my children grow to maturity and have families of their own while the lives of other babies are horribly and brutally ended before their mothers' very eyes? What kind of pain is that? Is there even a word for it? Why have I been so fortunate, to use my father's words? I don't have an answer.

I feel like I need to do something. But I don't know what to do. My words don't come eloquently and philosophically. Should I organize ... I don't know ... something ... a food drive? If I do, will it even get through? Is this what helplessness feels like?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Are you kidding me????

I'm at a 4-day conference for work, staying at the Park Plaza Hotel & Towers in Boston. Although I don't relish the idea of being away from home for 3 nights, I was looking forward to a stay in what I thought would be a really good hotel.

Remember ... I said hotel, not motel.

First, for the price my employer is paying ($189/night) the room is terribly small. Just barely enough room to walk around the two double beds. The furniture looks like it came from a Howard Johnson's. The closet door doesn't close all the way. The heating/cooling unit doesn't really do much. I've got it set at 64 degrees, and I'm still quite warm. The bathroom is about the size of two telephone booths, and the hair dryer is in a bag, hanging on the back of the bathroom door. There's no coffee maker, and the room has a musty smell.

In addition, when I tried to connect to the internet, I found it wasn't working. I called the extension listed for assistance and was transferred by security to an off-site tech assistance site. I was then down on my hands and knees unplugging and plugging things until we finally figured out what the problem was. Then, to add insult to injury, they charge an additional $10.95 a day for basic internet.

I'm not some hotel expert, and I don't consider myself a picky person, and if I were staying in a small, local motel somewhere all of this would certainly be acceptable ... for about $69.00/night. But for $189/night? What is the draw? I've had better amenities staying at a Comfort Suites than seem to be available here.

The reception is starting in a few minutes, so I'll have to continue this later.

Ok ... so I realize that it must be difficult to fit these old Boston buildings with air conditioning and internet, etc. So be it. So maybe this isn't the place to hold a conference.

Yea, I'm just venting.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Priorities

"Ya gotta have priorities!"

How many times have I heard that in my life? For that matter, how many times have I said it!? Well, I have a 4-day conference in Boston beginning tomorrow and as I thought about what to pack, it occurred to me what was really important, in the world of Linda, that is. My knitting!

Which project or projects should I bring? Is there an lys (knitspeak for local yarn shop) that I can visit on my lunch breaks? I should probably bring a project that I don't have to concentrate to hard on for knitting during the conference, and another that I can work on in my hotel room. Make sure I have enough yarn! Don't want to run out half way through the conference. Don't forget the scissors and the measuring tape and the stitch markers and the point protectors and the 3-ring binder with my patterns. If I bring the bag I'm making, I'll need to bring the dpn's so I can work on the i-cord. So much to think about!

Oh! And I have to bring my camera!

And, after all that, will I have room in the suitcase for clothes? Umm ... wait! I have a garment bag I can use! Problem solved.

What does that say about me? Does it indicate that my job is not important? I don't think it does. My job is important. But it's just that ... a job. It's not the most important thing. As I said in my last post, I've neglected my creative side for far too long. So, I guess this is me feeding my creative side.

Balance.

Friday, July 3, 2009


It's been a month since I posted anything, which also means I've been in my new house for a month. I've painted the master bedroom and bathroom ... YAY! No more pepto-bismol pink! Next will be the floors, but that'll have to wait for a while. I need to get myself on a budget first.

I had a couple of realizations in the past few weeks. The first is that I haven't been able to let go of the events of the past few years. I've pretty much just crawled inside myself and put up walls. A good friend of mine wanted to introduce me to a colleague of hers on the basis that we're both single and we both love kayaking and being outdoors. I completely panicked and said no. I know I'm not ready for that, and it's hard to explain why, other than I'm still holding on to the past. I know I need to let it go ... it is what it is, and all that ... but I don't know how to. Maybe it will come in time? I don't know.

I also realized that I've been so wrapped up in protecting myself that I've been neglecting a big part of myself ... the creative part, the part that looks for the beauty in ordinary things. I can't tell you how many times in the past months I've seen something and said "I wish I had my camera." I used to take it everywhere with me! Lately, it's been sitting in a corner, neglected and very sad.

To remedy this, and to try and get back to who I was before all the shit of the past 3 years, I've created a new photography project for myself - to try and find something beautiful every day. Not just beauty in terms of how something looks ... it could be a feeling that a scene evokes ... it could be trying to illustrate a song I find beautiful. I don't know from day to day what it will be. I'm just hoping to begin the journey back to me.

I'm still knitting a lot. I've started Christmas presents. I'm pretty much knitting or crocheting for everyone this year. I still want to start a crafting blog, but, I don't know ... it just doesn't feel like the time. I guess I'll know when.

Oh ... that picture up there? That's my latest "Beauty Photo." It's my grandson's toes as he was sleeping this morning. I took it at around 4:20 a.m., just before I woke him up to take him to the airport. We had to be there by 6 a.m. If you're interested in more of what I find beautiful, click here.

Bye for now.