Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Peace and Quiet

I just got back from a weekend retreat at (now, don’t you laugh!) Shinneyboo Creek.

I had two and a half days of {gasp!} Peace and Quiet. I almost didn’t know what to do about it. It took me most of Friday to get used to the idea that nobody was going to leap out from under the bed shrieking, “MOMMY!!!!”

I left Friday morning, and got Sunday afternoon. I spent the entire time alternating hiking along the river with reading Joseph Campbell and, of course, knitting. I’m making the Irish Diamond Shawl (this is not me modeling it, I only wish, but I am about, oh, nowhere near done) (related note: this sucker starts out at 79 stitches and then increases 40 stitches per pattern repeat until it ends up at a whopping 672+) (but it is oh-so-fun to knit…and I’ve wanted to for about three years now…and I’ve had the yarn and everything for all that time…and it’s just ever-so-delightful to be actually {gasp} doing it!).

But I digress.

Usually, when I take these little breaks from duty and dedication, that’s all it is. I take the break. I’m gone for a day, two days, a weekend, and then I come home and I feel better and less “prickly” and I pick it all up and off we go.

This, however, was something…completely different.

I would say I spent the vast majority of this time knitting, and thinking. They go hand in hand, knitting and thinking. The act of knitting is physical and linear: purl 2, knit 2, yarn over, repeat 4 times, end knit 6 [flip] repeat…repeat…repeat…

It busies that part of the mind that is concerned with lists, with order, with ‘next’. You know – that part that always crops up while you’re trying to do your yoga exercise, while you’re trying to envision your third chakra blossoming or trying to have a sincere talk with Jesus or what-have-you, interjecting something inane and off-topic like, “I must remember to have Jimbo clear the leaves from the gutter” or “…and eggs, I think we’re about out of eggs, and maybe some nice asparagus to go with the trout and…”

That part that will never shut up, in other words.

Knitting shuts it up. It is absorbed in the counting, the careful guarding against split yarn, the watching of the pattern to ensure no mistakes are made (which will show in the lace!).

Meanwhile, the rest of the mind, the part that talks freely with God, the part that knows but cannot express what one really hopes and dreams, is able to finally get a word in edgewise.

You know…it’s been a long time since that part of my mind has had a chance to say anything.

It was pretty chatty, too. Had a lot of comments about all sorts of things, but I think the one thing I came away with was a refocusing of my energy toward a dream my husband and I share, but have always sort of downplayed and “yeah, right, and then I shall fly to Mars! Because I am their Queen!” sort of way.

I’ll share all about it, in a little bit. I’m still processing, and honestly it’s a little weird and ‘out there’, even for me. It scares the spit out of me to even think about actually going for it, and at the same time it is so exciting to me, so cool and It Could Not Be Better Than This that it’s worth dreaming about and fighting for.

But – I’ve got one kid hollering for his nap right when it’s time to go and get another kid from school. And then a one hour break, and then we pick up Kid #2. Swell. At what point does Mr. Man get his nap…?


Welcome back to the Den of Chaos, Mommy. Hope you had a good rest, because babe – you’re gonna need it!!


Very Herodotus said...

Hmmmm... what could it be? I have an idea in my head, but I'm probably just projecting what *my* dream plan would be.

Love the shawl!

21st Century Mom said...

Your husband is so great for giving you these mini-breaks. All women should get them but very few do. Glad you got the rest.

wrnglrjan said...

I for one can't wait to hear what the plan is!

Glad you enjoyed your weekend away.