Self Preservation

When I woke up this morning and saw that it was snowing, something snapped. I flipped on the tv to check the weather and sure enough, there’s another snowfall warning. I know I live in Canada, I know this is to be expected, but another 20cm (almost 8 inches) brings the snowfall in the last couple of weeks up to a really unreasonable level. It’s starting to get to me, and there’s March and April yet to go. I’ve tried to be chipper this year, I really have, but dudes, it’s seriously depressing out there. Between the snow and the cold even walking has become exhausting. Yesterday my neighbour opened her door and the minute her kid saw the snow and felt the -30 wind in her face she just started to cry and if I weren’t a grownup I would have joined her. (Plus, at -30 tears on your cheeks are really bad.)

Denny has this rule that you shouldn’t knit anything colourless or grey in Toronto in March, since the whole city is, to be entirely frank, grey and colourless, and since it always snows in April, you feel like you’ve been in it forever and there’s no hope of it ending. She thinks that the combination of all that and a grey sweater that drags on a little itself could reduce a human to despair. I’ve always respected this rule of Den’s and in fact I’ve got some nice bright stuff planned for next month, just to keep me going. I’m wondering though, if this brutal string of storms hasn’t made February a little bit March-ish? I tried to get behind the sweater, I really did. I worked on it off and on last night,

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but I kept coming back to the sock. It’s bright. It’s hopeful. It’s all kinds of things that the outside isn’t right now… colourful, warm, cheery…. a reason to live…..

I put the sock outside for it’s photoshoot but the snow was falling so fast that I couldn’t get a good shot.

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Within minutes, the snow was covering it up,

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and really quickly, you could scarcely tell it was there. I watched the snow cover it.

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I drank coffee and I looked out at the white and grey world and I looked at that sweater. Then I did the only reasonable thing.

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You betcha. I’ll finish the sweater in Tacoma, where I bet there’s just got to be a colour that’s not grey.

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It is, my knitty friends, one hundred million degrees below zero outside, and I am not even kidding a little bit. It’s the kind of cold that someone like me will do just about anything to avoid, and I am. I’m writing, knitting and doing the mountains of laundry that sprang up out of nowhere like mushrooms on a dank forest floor, and I’m hoping that the outside world doesn’t need me for anything until it’s way less frosty out there.

The focus on laundry today is an imperative, since I leave for Madrona on the 13th, and I realized this weekend that even though it was just yesterday that it was January, all of a sudden this is February, and not the start of it either. I leave for Madrona in 48 hours, and if I don’t do some laundry not only will I leave this family in a tragic state of affairs (which I am not too worried about. They are all tall enough to have an episode with Sir Washie) but I will be travelling with only commercial socks, my bottom of the barrel underpants and the shirt that has a coffee stain on the front. (Considering that I am extremely unlikely to stop being the sort of doofus, who will spill coffee on myself just about first thing everyday while I am at Madrona, shouldn’t really bother me…but I do like to at least give myself a chance to rise above.)

Once I’d worked out that I had only a few days to get ready, I realized that meant that meeting my goal of having the Must Have Cardie (Laura has a nice one here) to wear at Madrona was also looking pretty slim. I abandoned it a couple of weeks ago to work harder on the Vintage socks…and then those sucked up – well, the universe, to be completely fair, and now here I am 48 hours before my flight with only two fronts and two sleeves, which can only make a sweater if you’re someone who thinks creatively about sweaters, like….Teva Durham or Norah Gaughan or even my buddy Denny, who would all totally work out a way to make the sleeves the backs and the fronts the sleeves and have a cabled shrug at the end of it.

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I’m not them though, and so I have the back left to do, and the bands, and find buttons and that might even be doable, I thought. Might be doable right up until for reasons that I can’t properly explain to you, but might have something to do with a backlash from the fussiest socks in the world….

I grabbed a skein of sock yarn and started the worlds plainest sock.

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(Yarn from that darn Rabbitch, who apparently exists only to corrupt me. Sock yarn in “Revenge”. (Her shop is here….though I don’t see this colourway just now. Whoops. It’s here. My bad. )

I was just going to do the ribbing, I told myself. Then get seriously diligent about the sweater. Seriously. I would just do the ribbing and then I’d have a plain sock to work on while I read and worked and that really was my plan.

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Then, I couldn’t put it down. I’m totally charmed by this colourway, and I keep promising myself that I’m just going to do a few more rounds and then put it down…and then I’m all “Hey! Turquoise! Hey! Pink! Hey! Acid yellow and black and it’s red again!” and…..

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I can’t seem to stop. I look over at the sweater, I give myself a stern talking to, then I remember that I’m the boss of me and I’ll knit what I want, and then I work on the sock. Then I remind myself that I really do want a warm sweater to wear in Tacoma, and then I think… is it even cold enough to care in Tacoma? I checked. It is a very toasty 10C (that’s 48F) in Tacoma right now. That is chilly, not cold, although I know that not finishing that sweater will likely bring an arctic wind upon Tacoma the minute I get off the plane and plunge the place into never-seen-before temperatures so low that I will sob for my Must Have cardigan, just to teach me a lesson about cockiness and project abandonment and not keeping promises to myself. The worst thing is, that if I continue to let this sock seduce me, not only will I have no sweater, I’ll won’t even have a pair of socks. I’ll just have one, since there’s certainly not time to finish the pair. Maybe I should go back to the sweater.

Or not. It’s a really great sock.

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I’ve heard a lot while I knit these socks. I’ve thought a lot while I knit these socks. They were a challenge, and I’m very happy with how they turned out. I don’t think they were that hard either. Sure, they demanded a certain degree of patience, sure, they demanded that I learn…. but I knit because I like to learn, I like making interesting things and I find knitting, in all it’s forms….compelling. I can’t tell you how many cool tricks or techniques I learned on the way to finished with these babies, and I feel proud. I’m going to give you my thoughts on some of the things I’ve heard about these socks…because I’ve asked myself the same things. (Note: Amanda’s feet are a lot smaller than the recipients. The right size feet will change the fit a lot, especially through the toes.)

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Wouldn’t you be afraid to wear them? What if you walked holes in them?

I want them to be worn. This much of my time and energy should be on the person, not near them. I don’t mind that socks get used up. I think things are more valuable and special when you know they are temporary. Would getting gifts be the same if you got them every day? Would cashmere be thrilling if all of your yarn was cashmere? I love that these have a finite, unpredictable life span. It makes them special, exactly because they won’t be here forever. (By the way? They are actually very durable, the same as regular socks. The leaves are sewn on very securely and I washed them the same way I wash all handknit socks and then simply lay them flat to dry, without them suffering a single ill effect. They may be fragile looking, but they’re as tough as any socks.)

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What the H-E – double hockey sticks would you wear them with?



Amanda’s wearing them the way I imagine the recipient will. With a bathrobe or your home pants, kicking around the house. I don’t know that I can exactly imagine the business outfit this would go with, though seriously…wouldn’t you love the thought of those gorgeous, over the top socks in all their frivolous glory worn under your pants at a meeting?

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It seems hard to imagine putting that much work into something that nobody will see.



I know, but it’s really ok with me. I think of these the way I think of nice underpants. Just because nobody but you (and selected personnel) will see them is no reason not to have beautiful things if it turns your crank. These aren’t for me, but if they were, I wouldn’t think of them as something “nobody” would see, since I’m not nobody. Given that they are a gift though? It’s enough that the recipient will see ’em and figure that I must love them a whole lot.

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I can’t believe you fixed the ribbing when you can’t even see the ribbing.



Yeah. I know. I wondered myself about that one. The issue was really more that I had worked so freakin’ hard on these that it seemed stupid to compromise at that point. It would have always bothered me that I knit 34 perfect wee leaves and an inlaid toe, but I screwed up the ribbing and left it. As it is, now I can look at these and think about how they are just as close to perfect as I can make them…and that gives me a great feeling of pride.

About yesterday:

There were many interesting comments, and many, many comments that weren’t quite what I was looking for. I wasn’t looking for the people who left the negative comments to be insulted, hurt or demonized, and I think that in places the comments approached (despite my own articulation that I didn’t think they were bad, nasty or unwelcome) the level of unthinking that started the thing in the first place. The whole time this has been going on, I keep thinking ” Seriously? All I did was knit a pair of socks you don’t like and that’s it? Somebody can get insulting?” (Then the part of me that is an adult kicks in and says ” and all they did is insult a sock (or a designer) and you’re goint to lose it? Nice maturity there Steph.”)

I admit, that while I wasn’t hurt myself, believing the comments to be more thoughtless than cruel, I did feel more than a pang for the designer. I know her. She’s nice, and she reads this blog and I thought that it was disrespectful to her to counter her 32 page, absolutely perfectly clear pattern which must have taken her so much time and energy with only “It’s ugly”. One investment (even if you don’t like it) deserves another, doesn’t it? Amy (a reader) left a great comment:

As you said, I enjoy debate – I love listening to reasonable, rational, argument. However, calling someone’s knitting “ugly” sounds like the old “you’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny.” There’s no art in it. It’s not debate, it’s not argument, it’s just insult.

There is is. My point exactly. If the negative comments had offered any more at all than a drive-by insult, I wouldn’t have worried. I get negative comments right left and centre. Doesn’t keep me awake at all, as long as it serves a purpose – or has a goal. I know for a fact (as I said yesterday) that nobody who called these socks ugly was out to hurt me – or the designer. I know they aren’t bad people, and they don’t deserve insult. However, they did make a comment without thinking, and I’ve always found pointless communication frustrating. I spend hours wondering what the point of pure opinion without reason is, or what exactly is wrong with society that “I’m just being honest” or “I have a right to an opinion” isn’t countered with “Why would you share that with me?” If the answer is “because I believe that something will change as a result of our interaction”, that’s good enough for me. it doesn’t have to be nice, but if there’s no answer, or no reason, then I just can’t get behind it. The rule on this blog is not “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” That wouldn’t invite conversation or debate. The rule here is “If you wouldn’t say it if you were in my living room, then don’t say it.”

Sandra offered a wonderful comment that actually did speak to motive and was exactly the sort of thinking I was hoping to hear:

Maybe this person was surprised that there were so many raves about these socks – no one had really said they didn’t like them but this person didn’t and maybe wondered what was wrong with his/her judgement? Maybe the person needed someone else to agree with him/her before he/she felt that their opinion was valid. Prehaps they thought that someone else might agree in the comments and then he/she could say – well, I WAS right. This kind of approval seeking can blind one to what is said – i.e. it was a poor choice of words if one did not mean to be hurtful – and perhaps he/she didn’t.



I think she’s probably bang on. We all want approval for our opinions, and there’s nothing wrong with that. All I ask for is a little thoughtfulness when forming negative comments. If there is something you don’t like, don’t like it with some literate skill. Tell me why you don’t like it. Talk about the items or the work in a way that could inspire change or insight. Give constructive criticism. Make it good. Have a reason beyond pure opinion.

Then take a deep breath, and knit.

Big snow, big day, big question

Big Snow: Two storms in 24 hours provided Toronto with a huge dump of snow yesterday morning and last night. A few of the faithful gathered for knit night at Lettuce Knit last night and marvelled at the hours of thundersnow and the way the stuff just kept coming. I took some pictures on the way home last night, since as much as I hate winter, I’ve got to admit that it is very beautiful. (In my weaker moments, it is likely only how pretty it is that keeps me and my will to live connected in any way.)

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That one is a nice knitter named Alexis trying to figure out if that’s a car or a pile of snow. As we were digging around in it I sort of wondered why we wanted to know. Both answers are sort of disturbing. Either there’s so much snow that it’s entirely buried a car, or there’s so much snow that it’s car sized. Not exactly a win/win.

2. Big Day. Big snow means snow day, which means tons of knitting gets done because seriously…where am I going to go. To that end, the Vintage socks are done, gloriously done and drying after a nice blocking (where the leaves curled a little bit and please me enormously) and I turned my attention back to a half done pair that were languishing, and are now

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Socks.

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Meilenweit Mega Boot Stretch, (I love this yarn.) Colour 708, size 2.25mm needles, my ordinary sock recipe.

3. Big Question. I noticed yesterday that some readers who dislike the socks I’m knitting…. said so. Now, I’m not particularly bothered (or at all bothered, actually) by people disliking what I’m knitting. I go to blogs, I look at what other people are knitting and to be entirely frank, I would not be caught dead in some of it if it was week three of a broken washing machine at 40 below. Lots of knitting is not to my taste. I have never been able to connect with any part of me that wants anything fun fur. (Not even a scarf). I am still reconciling my inner self to most things that are pink, and there are a great many uses of intarsia out there that send a shiver down my spine. I would never, ever wear some of it. As a matter of fact, I would never wear the Vintage socks. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not really an embellished sort of person. Now, I do think they are beautiful. I think they have been a treat to knit, and I am exactly the sort of knitter who will knit something just because the process appeals to me and I enjoy a challenge, but the real reason these are being knit is because I know someone who will die a thousand deaths out of sheer joy when she receives them as a gift. They are totally her cup of tea, and nobody in the world will love them more.

Back to the question though. I tend to think of blogs as virtual living rooms. An invitation to visit the blogger at his or her house. So when someone leaves a comment about something being “ugly” I sort of imagine it like somebody walked into a living room, saw the couch and said “Whoa! Your couch is hideous. That’s a seriously ugly piece of furniture. Sorry, but I think someone should say something.” I don’t know anyone who would do that. I know people who would say nothing. I know people who might even say “Holy crap did you see their couch?” in the car on the way home. I even *am* the sort of person who would think it….but would it come out of my mouth? No Ma’am. My mother would knock me into next week if I did. Similarly, I don’t know anyone who would walk up to a woman and tell her that her dress was ugly. I wonder then, what prompts this sort of comment in another context? As a general rule, I’m not seeking permission to knit the things I do, nor will I be tremendously influenced by what you would wear. I return the favour too. Though I may not like your sweater choices, I respect a knitters right to choose. Chacun à son goût.

It’s an honest question, and I’m looking for an honest answer. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with disagreeing, disliking or dissenting. I even enjoy discussion, debate and discourse on the merits of a particular pattern or colourway. I think there are better ways to inspire that though. “It’s ugly” isn’t exactly critique of a sort that inspires discussion. I knit to please myself and the people I love, and the only way that a comment like that could hurt me would be if it was from the person I was knitting for (and I want to make it clear that if the intended recipient of the Vintage socks left a comment with even a whisper of negativity in in I would have to have therapy.) Generally though, it doesn’t hurt my feelings, and I’m not wounded. I have a feeling that saying “wow, your work is really ugly” is actually a translation of “that is not to my taste and I wouldn’t wear it if you paid me”, and truly…. that’s a fair statement, if unfairly stated in its original form.

I’m sincerely wondering what is running through someone’s mind as they type something that would be hugely out of character for them to say were I standing in the room, especially since I am in the room. (Sort of.) It’s been suggested that perhaps it feels good to dissent, (It does.) and that many of us have an urge not to be taken for a sycophant and occasionally take it too far. (I have been known to do that one myself.) There’s even the thought that not all people have manners….which is the one that perplexes me.

I am almost 40. In my almost 40 years, NOBODY has ever walked up to me and said “I’m sorry, but your shirt is just ugly.” NOBODY has ever walked into my home and dissed my stuff. (I’m sure they thought it. Some of my stuff is pretty bad. Even I don’t like it.) Not only has that never happened to me, I haven’t really heard about that much either. Now, this is pretty compelling evidence that people do (mostly) have a code (or at least a set of guidelines) when we’re standing in front of each other. How does that code change, and why?

I’m not saying we all have to be nice… or agree. We all enjoy (especially) watching intense debate. (I admit I have loitered on the Big Issues Forum at Ravelry for the same reason.) It’s fun. The thing I’m wondering is what provokes it in this personal a context.

Discuss. I’m making tea.

Edited to add: Ok. I think I didn’t phrase this right. (Which is surprising…since I used so many phrases. You would think I would have nailed it just on odds.) I am not asking “Why are people rude”. I actually don’t think dissent is rude, nor did I find the comments that called my work “ugly” rude, hurtful or unwelcome to the point that they need a public slapping. I hope they don’t feel that way. What I do wonder is what anyone thinks is achieved by a comment like that. What, in the purest sense, are they hoping will happen? Do they think it will make me a better knitter? Reshape what I’m knitting to suit their taste? People don’t usually act without motive….and I’m wondering at that motive.

Not enough coffee in the world

Last night, I sat down (for maybe the third time over the last two days) to finish the Vintage socks, and I discovered a big problem. It is not a knitting problem, per se, but an emotional problem which has a knitting effect.

I am done with these socks. This wouldn’t be a problem at all, except that I am not done these socks. To put it bluntly.. I’m sick of them. Its been an engaging knit, and a super fun one, and boy…have I learned some cool stuff, but I’m down to the madness that is the fiddly, all consuming time suck that is the business of attaching all the leaves, doing the embroidery and dealing with the ends. It is taking forever. Time stops while you do it. I keep thinking this time that I sit down to work on them they will be done…and then I work and work and work, and they aren’t done. Up until this morning (when I sat down to finish the socks and once again…didn’t finish the socks) I was actually starting to believe that these socks were some sort of sick time loop. That maybe they just can’t be finished. Maybe there’s always something more to do and you just can’t finish them. Maybe there’s some twisted reverse shoemakers-elf thing going on while I’m not with them, I don’t know. If I don’t finish today, I shall surely never be the same.

Here’s how you finish the socks. (I think. they are not finished, so I’m not sure.)

Step one of the leaf phase. Ignore instruction to place first eight leaves. Decide to make the second eight leaves the first eight leaves because it seems less fiddly. (Laugh to self, because the whole thing is so fiddly that “less fiddly is a meaningless comparative term. Wonder if laughing at knitting is a sign of declining mental health. Laugh again.)

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Decide where the first eight of the leaves you are integrating should go. Rearrange stitches to incorporate new order.

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Finish that. Note that grey hair has fallen from your head and is going to be incorporated. Wonder absently if you had this much grey hair before these leaves, or if hair loss is normal at this point.

Step two. Work integrated i-cord, while noting that you did not leave ends long enough to fully integrate in the manner the instructions suggest. Pen brief letter to the designer. Delete letter to designer who is actually a nice person and can’t really be held accountable for your failure to follow her thorough guide. Sigh. Drink coffee. Integrate i-cord.

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Step three. Finish i-cord. Feel superior. Note that there are 24 more leaves to deal with. Feel woozy. Drink coffee.

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Step Four. Begin sewing on second tier of leaves. Confirm that you have in fact made a decision to put the leaves on backwards – stockinette side out, as opposed to the purl side out that pattern “suggests”. Feel sure that this cannot matter, try to remember if you gave the designer your address. Remember she is not over-controlling freak who cares how you sew leaves on socks. Make more coffee….first whole pot is gone.

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Step Five. Figure out that it makes really good sense to run yarn along back of leaves rather than back of sock while sewing multitude of leaf points down.

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(Decide to tell blog that you did indeed do it the other way first, but then discovered that you had entirely compromised elasticity of damnable ribbing, thus defeating purpose of socks, since if you can’t put them on, you can’t wear them. Decline offer of husband to take pictures of you weeping as you remove leaves, since it is humiliating enough without a permanent record).

Step Six. Wonder if you have had too much coffee, considering that your heart is beating like a hummingbird. Look at socks. Pour next cup.

Step Seven:

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Finish sewing on first sixteen leaves. Invent short interpretative dance of joy. Perform for cat.

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Step eight. Begin to do funky decorative attached i-cord stem. Stop drinking coffee when caffeine shake interferes with ability to be intricate and fiddly. Switch to calming herbal tea.

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Step Nine: Begin embroidery. Wonder how knitting turned into embroidery and feel pang of idiocy for knowing it was coming all along and failing to gird self.

Finish. Feel the warmth of completion and the joy of stick-to-it-iveness. Congratulate self for having the wherewithal to stick with the whole thing. Remember that there are great rewards for those who persevere. Feel the happiness that only comes from approaching things with the tenacity of a pit bull. Lift head high. Sigh with satisfaction. Look down at knitting basket. Sigh with …..something else.

Step 10. Begin to repeat for second sock. Contemplate how early in the day is too early to switch from coffee to scotch.

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Right this minute, the only thing keeping me going is the knowledge that the taste of bliss I had with the first sock can only be doubled when I do the other one. That, and I know that if I stop, I’ll never finish. Toronto is getting another big storm today,

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and I’m going to take advantage of another crippling snow day by finishing. Really finishing these socks, before they finish me. Mercy.

Un-integrated Monday

Good: I finished the cuffs of both Vintage socks.

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Bad: I finished them yesterday instead of Saturday like I was planning because there was a publishing crisis on Friday that sucked up two whole days of my life.

Good: I am especially proud of my grace under fire this weekend. I got a whole lot of work dumped on me out of the blue as a result of a mistake that entirely belonged to someone else and I just rolled with it, and lived in the moment. I absolutely skipped the part where I try to find out how something like this could have happened… I just said “Ok. So this is where we are. What are we going to do.” and did it. The person who made the big mistake was very apologetic, and considering the size and scope of the problem I feel like it got handled really well all around. I know that’s supposed to be how it is in business…that everyone is professional and cool headed and working towards the same goal….but I live with teenagers, so problem solving that doesn’t include screaming, 24 phone calls, a door slam and 86 choruses of “how can this be happening to me/ any unhappiness I feel is your fault / you did this on purpose” is as surprising as it gets.

Bad: Both socks have ribbing. The sock on the right, however..knit while I was conducting my ordinary life, has 3X2 ribbing. The sock I worked on while I was trying not to compound disaster this weekend, 2X2 ribbing. Now, I’ve got nothing against either sorts of ribbing, but I do feel that they should match. It seems like some sort of idiot move to spend all that time knitting tiny little leaves and embossed grape panels and inlaid toes and wine glass heels and then say “You know….I don’t really need the ribbing to match. I’m not that fussy.”

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Out it went.

Good. I fixed it and started the “integrated i-cord bind off” that attaches the leaves.

Bad: That took a really long time, and I haven’t added the other 8 leaves or sewn them down. It looks sort of dumb right now, but I really believe it’s going to come together.

Good: It’s finished.

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Bad: It was finished at 2am (I may have got a wee bit obsessed with finishing it while watching The Island of Dr. Moreau, which was a wonderful book, and the sort of movie that you watch all of because you are an optimistic person and you just can’t believe it’s going to stay that bad. (Tip: It does. Unless you are also working an integrated i-cord bind off…which is totally interesting and worth staying up for…Go. To. Bed.)

Good: I have been going for a walk every night and have been wishing that I could show you what the city looks like in the wintertime. Last night I actually remembered my camera.

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This is the park by my house that I walk by each night. For the last several days there’s tobogganing there no matter what time of the day or night I go by.

Bad: I don’t have a toboggan.

Good: I also don’t have a broken leg. Probably related.

Bad: No more time today, lunch date and an integrated bind off are calling me. (Likely not at the same time…) I shall record the bind-off for posterity.

Good: I won best activities blog!

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Good: Dr. Steph won Second!

Good: Knitnut won fourth!

(Our plan to take over the world continues apace.) I am especially pleased because I won even through Knitnut and Dr. Steph are both smarter than me. Excellent luck.) They don’t announce “Best blog” for a few days, so I won’t know about that for a while. The suspense is killing me. I don’t expect to win at all, but I found some comments on a blog a few days ago where the author suggested that it was sort of silly to have a knitting blog in the category, and well as much as I hate this about myself……. That made me want to squash the competition like bugs – which is really terrible, since the competition didn’t make the comment, and I’m a grown-up and other people shouldn’t need to be squashed for me to make a point and…. Never mind. You know.

Bad: In my next life, I will have to try to be a better person.

An Annual Tradition

Once again, I’m taking part in what I have come to think of as a very lovely tradition, the Bloggers Silent Poetry Reading that marks the Feast of St. Brigid. The first year I did it, I asked my father-in-law, the poet, to provide me with a favourite of his. The next year he did me the honour again. In Lene’s family, they always say that if you do something twice, that makes it a tradition, and apparently Joe Sr. feels that way too, since this year he was the one who reminded me that Silent Poetry Reading was coming up, and asked me when I needed his poem by. Clearly, he has come to think of this space as “his” for this day of the year, and who am I to argue with him. Old Joe (as the children call him, to set him apart from his son who is “Our Joe” ) is splitting his time these days between frozen Toronto, snowy Quidi Vidi (pronounced “kitty viddy”) in Newfoundland, and Mecca, Saudi Arabia – which is where he is today – enjoying a temperature of 33 degrees (91F). (Whoops. He’s back!) I wondered, when he sent me this by email, if it was the hot weather there that had inspired him, but I’m guessing not. Were I a betting woman, I would have my money on the brief but remarkable Newfoundland summer… made all the more special by the contrast with the long and dark winter.

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For me it conjured up images of my daughters on the rocks at Shallow Bay a few years ago, young women more than children, and how the beauty of a young girl at the sea is the likely the only thing that can outshine a summer day in the succinct but glorious Newfoundland summer.

O see the pulse of summer in the ice.

Dylan Thomas





Summer Girls

I see summer girls in splendor

Walk foot bare on fields of green

Sea-wet hair dried by warm breezes

Swirling through an open screen.

I see summer skin sun-ripened

Under flowing loose white gown

Mound of freckled salt-stiff breast

Hair at nape of neck like down.

I see summer girls in laughter

After yellow ball spins round

Voices murmur in the twilight

Fever rising with the sound.

I see summer rain on faces

Sleep-soft bodies stir in morn

Stain of virgin seed and berry

Strut of sainted youth reborn.

I see you summer girls and dread

The day veils will turn heartless

No more to open on blue hills

When I lie down with darkness.

Joseph Dunphy