Sunday, January 26, 2014

Thinking, Running, Knitting, Writing. . . . it's all so foggy!

Bit by bit, I've been trying to finish the next post in my gripping series about Extroversion, Introversion, and what it all has to do with my curls. I know what I glimpsed when I first postulated the link, but it becomes both clearer and more elusive the more that I try to pin down what I want to say -- or, even more, the more I try to pin down what I think, what I know . . .

Out on my run this morning, I spent a few kilometres chasing my thoughts after having written a paragraph or two, trying to describe a memory with some accuracy and insight both. Tricky.  Every time I would achieve an "a-ha" of recognition, I'd almost immediately begin to question it or to complicate it. And I don't think this is a bad thing, quite honestly. It's the way I get to my best work, academically, step by step, testing energetically until I'm confident the ground I walk on is fairly solid. Even then, I'm often ready to modify or concede on all but the most firmly held concepts or convictions.

Running, this morning, I thought about how differently blog posts work for thinking and writing compared to the 7-10,000-word essay form I might prefer. In such an essay, I could sketch out my digressions, but continue to follow the thread of a central narrative or conceit. It feels so much easier to lose my way in a series of posts. On the other hand, though, as long as you don't get so fed up that you abandon me in droves, I can, theoretically, continue to pursue an idea, thickening or stretching or twisting or looping it in repetitions, for as long as I want, in between posts on completely different topics. Which different topics may, along the way, illuminate my curls or my introversion in some relevant new ways.

Thinking about my slow approach to building these posts, running loop after loop of our tiny island's dirt roads, fog's damp cold tracking every step, I thought of the throw I've been knitting, slow row by slow row, for almost a year now. At ~200 stitches per row of two-handed knitting, it was never going to be a speedy knit, but it's also been put aside for weeks, even months at a time, while I worked on other projects. Still, I'm finally coming to the end of the chart now and some months from now, there'll be a day of steeking ("Eek" to the steek!) . . . and then a few hours picking up zillions of stitches for a border, and then perhaps another month or so after that, I'll have a charming lap blanket to keep me warm on foggy winter Sundays.

In other words, I reminded myself, incremental and cumulative is okay. Slow is okay.
 Mind you, then I went outside with my camera and listened to its poor computer-brain try to adjust its eye/lens in the fog, nothing substantive in the distance to provide a focal point. While I have a pattern to guide me as I knit the rows of my throw, I'm perhaps more like my camera lens in being challenged to find a direction.  And to stick to it.






















I look this way . . .






















then that . . .






















and it's easy to feel that I'm not seeing my way very clearly, nor very far . . .






















But then I think perhaps it's okay just to sit and contemplate the fog itself, to wonder what constitutes it, why it hides what it does, and under what conditions.






















And I remember that clarity and fog are both temporary conditions, and that there is room and a time for both.

All of which might be to say that I will be posting yet again, very soon, about my curls, but I may need more than a compass before I get to the links I began with.

And I thank you for your patience. And your reading. And oh, thank you so much for your comments. . . .

16 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward to reading the next introversion installment. I think a series of blog posts can often be a perfect vehicle for sussing out some of these ideas, and the tangents that can occur. Sometimes we don't end up where we thing we will. That picture with the bright chairs against the fog is my favorite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sue, for the encouragement and the reassurance. The ongoing nature of a blog does give the opportunity to look at one's object of meditation/speculation from different perspectives and over a period of time. I have to like that, right? Even if it sometimes takes me where I didn't expect to go. . .

      Delete
  2. Like Une Femme, I'm anticipating your next post on introversion and chewing on the contents for awhile.
    These foggy days are something. We're hoping to fly out tonight, but it's not looking likely, nor tomorrow morning. Sigh. However, your foggy photos are lovely, soft, and moody with the horizon blurred by the mist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Day after day of this, it does get a bit old . . . plans for an author dinner I was really looking forward to got changed because his plane couldn't fly in. . . .
      And Paul was supposed to fly this morning, but he took the ferry yesterday, just in case. I do hope you get where you're going before too long.

      Delete
  3. The fog is beautiful in its way. Did you read Niebla by Miguel de Unamuno? Your curls are probably linked with who you are. Introversion is only part of the picture,






    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read Unamuno at all, although his books are all on my "in retirement" list. What does he say about fog/Niebla?

      Delete
  4. I haven't run in years....knees went and then orthotics helped .. and so started running again..and then hips started to complain. And so my personal coach/trainer/husband said the writing was on the wall. Too bad. I loved to run. It was so good for thinking. In fact sometimes I'd leave a task for want of ideas, start on my run and then have to run home quickly to get my ideas down.
    And speaking of running and fog. What does the fog do to your hair? Is a toque in order? My naturally curly hair acts very strangely in the fog. Each individual hair seems to go its own way... and creates some sort of weird free form sculpture...aka fog hair!
    And btw..thanks for all your comments on my fledgling blog. It's nice to know I'm not talking into empty air. Well...my mum comments ... but she calls me to tell me her comment. Too funny. But at 86 I would say it's amazing that she has even attempted the internet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In order to run, I have to be sure to do at least two weekly sessions of flexibility/strength -- for me, right now, it's one yoga and one Pilates. Anything much less and, yes, body parts complain. I also regularly visit a physio AND if I can manage the time and cost, book an occasional massage. I do love it, and I hope I can keep it up for a few more years,
      As for any kind of humidity and my curls -- well! Can you say "Big Hair"?! A toque, as you suggest, is not very helpful as we curlyheads do hat head with no grace at all, the contrast between flattened and still curl being so very odd.
      Brava for your mom, and brava for you on the blog start-up. It can take a little while to build an audience/community, but that's part of the fun.

      Delete
  5. I've been struggling to keep up with my workload these past weeks but have dropped by your blog for respite from time to time. Really, why are you not writing a book? This is what I see here. So many threads for a book.
    I'm glad you appear to be recovered from your fall. Those are so scary and I know throw me off balance mentally for some time after as well, being as embarrassed about the fall as I am pained by the injury. Does that make sense? Loathsome all round. I look forward to your curls. What's up with all this fog lately?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Melanie -- you're too generous. As for the fall and the scare, yes, what you say makes sense. I'm really trying, though, to recognize that falling is part of being more active. Not sure I believe it (nor that the trade-off is worthwhile), but framing it that way is better than thinking I'm clumsy or doomed or just old. And yes, the fog. . . . aaargh!

      Delete
  6. Hi
    I have recently discovered your blog and enjoy your thoughtful posts. I have made a time my to let the authors of blogs I enjoy know how you ate appreciated!
    I would love love love curls!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment, Meaghan -- we bloggers do appreciate knowing readers are out there. As for the curls, many straight-haired women claim to want them, but as many curly-heads spend hours and hours and hours of their lives straightening assiduously. ;-)

      Delete
  7. A benefit of the blog format is that it is is not conducive to overthinking and for indulging the angels-on-a-pin parsing that can accompany that. (Readers enjoy blogs because of such brevity.) The downside is, in condensing your thoughts, you can omit the nuances and logical path. The challenge our generation, raised on essays and fully-developed theses, is to strike a balance. I continually wrestle with that, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well put. It's a balance, and I mourn the diminished presence of a form that allows better for the complexity I value. But a blog has the potential to do the condensing, reductive though it may be, and then come back, over time, to add nuance and complexity. At least, that's my hope. . . . nice to know I have company in the wrestling.

      Delete
  8. The fog seems to have settled everywhere but on our hill this past weekend. We enjoyed the fleeting sun and blue sky and were whipped into frenetic garden clean-up. I knew that it would be a fleeting visit from the sun, so took full advantage. I ended up having the sort of day that clears cobwebs of all kinds.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Absolutely keep going. That's the joy of blogs. We get to meander a bit, and find our way. I have come to realize that it's never one post that causes our readers to leave us, so we might as well just Publish.

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...