Friday, September 21, 2018

Going Dark - Finding Light

I need to go dark.

My blog has become mostly a knitting blog because of my involvement with Year of Projects.  I do also write about my doings day to day, but mostly about my projects.

I used to write more about my feelings and struggles and I miss doing that.

My mental health misses me doing that.

I have always known that I seek the approval of others.  My colleagues, my family, my students, my friends.

I avoid confrontation at a cost.  The cost is that I don't speak my truths about things that I am afraid will cause conflict.

That wasn't so when I was on the board of my school.  I was fierce and outspoken and I like that part of me. But with family I go quiet.

This is true of this blog now.  There are things I want to write about, but then I worry there will be fall out or blow back.

I thought about starting another blog, an anonymous blog, but this morning I realized that if I don't want to publish a post I can not publish a post, but the thoughts will still be there for me to read and reflect on.

So here goes.

A couple of weeks ago I was at a meeting and we were talking about our reliance on the approval of others.

I sat there with my stomach alerting me that I had something to say:

In my pocket I carry my father's worry stone.  On my wrist I wear my grandmother's bracelet which has the regiment badges of the two regiments my father was in during WW II.  It also has a small gold cross.

I have my father's wallet with his university id card and other personal items in the drawer beside me.

His picture is on my bookshelf, and a cartoon of him hangs in the living room.

He is everywhere.

My father died when I was 17.  I miss him everyday.  I am now 62.  I believe that my father loved me as I loved him, although I was told once by my mother that he didn't love anyone.  That he wasn't capable of love.  I didn't believe her then, and I don't believe it now.

His anger was huge.  He could be violent and unpredictable.  I was/am afraid of that anger.

But still I believe he loved me and despite the times my behaviour made him angry I have always believed his love was unconditional.  Unconditional love is something I struggle with. I am not sure I believe it is a thing that a parent will love their child no matter what.  I do believe that a parent will feel a responsibility for and to their child, but unconditional love as an all encompassing concept is a difficult one for me to really stand behind.

So back to the worry stone.

It is ironic that I do worry that I will lose his worry stone.  Sometimes I think I should purposefully return it to the earth or place it on his headstone.

I think about it, but for now it is firmly in my pocket.

So my question at the meeting was is it co-dependent to hold on to my father as I do.  To his memory, to his things?  His dresser is my dresser.  I have his sherry keg on my mantel piece.  Downstairs I have his ice-cream maker.

Things that tie me to him inextricably.

"They are just things. Your father would tell you they are just things."  My mother told me this once when she had spilled red wine on a handmade rug of mine.  I was upset.  She had been drinking.
She knew my Achilles heel.  She was telling me my father would be disappointed in my behaviour.

It is hard to write this. I have been told not to speak ill of the dead.  But memories are memories and some are wonderful and some still hurt all these many years later.

Forgive and forget.

I am learning to forgive, but forgetting is so very hard. 

Physical things hold memory for me.  I have had to let go of physical things that hold difficult memories because if I don't I can't get past the hurt they remind me of.

My father's worry stone, his wallet and my grandmother's bracelet do not hold any such memories.  Instead they remind me that he was just a man, who had a difficult history, who worried, who loved, who had faith, who had a mother that worried about him.

Those things remind me that he was human.

So am I.

And for now, and for the foreseeable future I will continue to carry him with me.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Yopping Update #11 - Socks it is

Happy Birthday socks on the almost birthday boy!

A perfect fit.  I am so proud of my first design. He had some taxi socks he loved when he was a teenager and I tried to replicate them. 

I was in a parade last Sunday in the wind and the rain - it was so much fun as we represented the Free Store on my sister's little island. The day before had been the 40th anniversary party of the Recycling Depot.

Everything the three of us are wearing and carrying came from said Free Store.  (Except my Tilley hat.  I have had that for thirty years!)

We went camping with our son last Tuesday and miraculously avoided the rain, and the campfire ban was lifted about four hours before we arrived at our campsite.  Here is our view:

and the juvenile robin that kept coming around every time my son split open a log so it could eat all the earwig larvae.  Such a comical, brave little guy. (The robin, not my son - although he is comical and brave too - just not so little).

Yesterday we went for a rainy walk in the canyon near our house.  There is my big boy on the bigger staircase.

Being such a busy week with parades, and camping and visiting and all I decided to cast on a simple sock.  I love this colourway called Talisman from Opal yarns. 

I hope to get back to Bonnie's Wish this week - she keeps giving me sidelong accusatory looks that I am stepping out on her what with my sock knitting and all. She is right, of course, but I will get back to those cables soon (ish). 

To follow other yoppers and their week go here.