About Life

Circling Back

A Map of Joyful Pastimes by Michele Damstra. Neptune's trident, the Sketch Sea, Neptune's Knitting Waves, Book Bay, Veggie Patch Pool, the Feasting Fjord.

Occasionally, I throw myself at a project, craft, book, only to slip away on a whim, eloping with another that piques my interest. Or, and this is the more likely scenario, circumstances change and my energy, shifting to adapt, has to let go of pastimes that mean a great deal to me.

Then one day, for good reason, the current that carried me away loops back and deposits me where I was before strong tides pulled me elsewhere. I circle back to that which I love, even when it has been absent from my life for the longest time.

Is this true for you?

I’ve been swept away from Book Bay, Sketch Sea, the Veggie Patch Pool, Neptune’s Knitting Waves, and many more.

This time, I’ve been brought back to all of the above. I can dip into each one, on rare days, in one day.

For what good reason?

Book Bay

When a book mirrors, in one way or another, you, it’s a gift from the gods. The story may prove to be prophetic, reassuring, bolstering, or inspiring. You, and only you, will know which whispering threads in the tale speak softly and clearly to your soul. I don’t doubt that, right now, titles are leaping into your mind.

I am bewitched by Madeline Miller’s Circe.

Listening to the audio book, I am in Circe’s mind, on her island of Aeaea, or at the bottom of the surrounding, imprisoning ocean, fully comprehending the nature of the exiled sorceress’ growth into herself – what a raw and messy, in sickness and solitude, unrelenting, harrowing, confusing, bittersweet experience transformation can be.

Before Circe, I opened a book and knew, within one page, I had tried to read it before. I previously gave up where a descriptive passage takes you down to German-occupied Belgium in a crippled WW2 bomber piloted by an American. It’s a page or two of an aviator’s crashing world that I find difficult to follow.

I persevered this time.

The book? Resistance by Anita Shreve.

Her characters live in a time where less is best – less spoken, less knowledge of other people and their doings, less conspicuous action, less lack of presence in the moment that is.

In the story’s cramped confines you understand what it means to have the courage to be humane, the will to live, the heart to love, a willingness to die, the pragmatism to suffer, the endurance to survive.

Its realism is sobering, and the strength of character of so many, humbling.

The Veggie Patch Pool on the Shores of Sketch Sea

I have resurrected my interest in food gardening, and I’ve started sorting out my cupboards, looking for what can be turfed out, what must be kept. How are these activities related? Both are required for transitioning into a way of life that shows more consideration for myself and our endangered planet.

See what I found?

It is not its existence that surprised me, it’s the contents.

I recall little of what I recorded in this simple gardening journal. My amnesia floored me for a moment, but then I perked up. I might not remember details, but I do remember the broad strokes, and I can just pick up where I left off, which is what I’ve done.

Neptune’s Knitting Waves

While navigating perilous straits, I drink tea and knit until my waterlogged mind is drained and I can make dried out, clear decisions.

A friend of mine’s daughter told her needles-clacking mom, Ma, you’ve been self-medicating with knitting your whole life!

My self-medication has produced a poncho, a t-shirt yarn cotton runner on which I can put my feet when I sit on the edge of the bed, and this comical, passion-killer bed bonnet…

Photo of the author in her passion-killer bed bonnet. It has staying power because it buttons up under her chin.
for the cold-headed who won’t be bedded

Before I go swimming in one of my creativity hot spots, let me share with you…

This week’s Happiness

My Dad, who had a heart attack not so long ago, celebrated his 78th birthday on Saturday.

In the video of the event that was to me sent, he is relaxed, happy, and all for sharing the cutting of his rich, layered cake with one of his outstandingly well-groomed young grandsons.

My catering-‘n-cooking-’til-the-cows-come-home sister baked the cake. Culinary creations are her uncontested, magic domain. She’s been swimming in the Feasting Fjord, making dishes everyone slobbers over, for so long she’s got scales (for measuring).


Toodle-oo

and ta-ta, I’m going for a doggy paddle in my Sketch Sea.

xxx ❤ Michele TeaShell

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