I didn’t even get near my studio today. I spend the morning in my office, packing up scarves for shipping and freezing my fingers. At one point I went downstairs for a hot cup of tea and Jon suggested I get one of the portable heaters plugged in. (as in many old houses, there’s no heat upstairs) It’s not that I hadn’t thought of it, but I didn’t want to admit that the room which only weeks ago was unbearably hot, was now starting to get unbearably cold. When I plugged in the heater and my fingers started to move freely in the warmth, I seriously wondered what was wrong with me to hold out so long.
After lunch I went to Post Office and chatted with Wendy at the counter. (Since I work at home, getting out to do my shipping can sometimes be the social high point of the day). Then to the Co-op for a tomato, bananas ( the organic ones, that taste so much like a banana that they make me think of those orange marshmallow “peanut” candies that taste like bananas) and a couple of locally made chocolate mouse yogurt (reallyreallygood). After leaving the bank (another social activity of mine, but today it was after hours so I just got to talk to the ATM) I drove by Jon’s car parked in front of George Forss’ Gallery where Jon was taking a photo lesson. Then it was back upstairs to make labels for my wool and sort through my orders.
By now it had warmed up, the afternoon sun, not as strong as in the summer, but still coming in the windows. I lined up the wool on the guest bed. Each label with the name of the sheep the wool came from, the yardage and ply. Suzy, 200 yards, 3 ply, DK. Tess, 200 yards, 3 ply worsted. Ma, 200 yards, 3 ply, worsted. In the back Zelda’s and Socks bumps, almost opposite colors.
Looking at the processed wool, then going outside and visiting the sheep I wish I could make them understand what it’s like for me to be able to see them in the pasture everyday. To get to know them as well as I can know a sheep. To take care of them and then to use the wool off their bodies to sell to people who will make it into mittens and hats and sweaters.
I didn’t grow up on a farm, I grew up in the suburbs and the idea that a person would make their clothes out of the hair on an animals back can still seem alien to me. Just like I still look up in awe and get a tug in my heart when the Canada Geese start flying, I think it’s going to take me a long to get used to the idea that me and the sheep are making yarn and sending it out into the world to have a whole new existence.
I hope I never get used to it enough to take it for granted. I hope I can always see it like I do now, kinda magical, like turning straw into gold.