Saturday, January 23, 2010

In praise of idleness

Let's do this barse-ackwards, at least in part.

Today, so far (8:15pm GMT) I have done nothing except a little washing up, make a rather delicious supper of stuffed mushrooms, roast parsnips and steamed cabbage, and knitted a few rounds of the second waving not drowning sock. Oh, and read the paper somewhat more thoroughly than usual. I had a good night's sleep, but I was still feeling somewhat battered, so I treated myself to indolence.

AH yesterday. A really good day. Big group, including no less than four beginners (waving..... :D, so I am feeling a bit inhibited!) The drive home seemed longer than usual in the dark, probably because I went home through the valley rather than over the top and the traffic was heavy. I was glad to be home.

Thursday morning, I was also teaching, albeit unofficially. A Book Group friend had wanted to learn to crochet, and despite the fact that I had never really taught anyone crochet before, I volunteered. For my pains, I was bought coffee, and given some delicious buttons, six pretty flower painted ones, and a lovely handmade and embellished felt one. I am happily planning suitable projects to showcase them now. (Along with all the other projects on the go or coming to the simmer....)

I very much like the fact that in those two days, I have helped enable five people to do things that they couldn't comfortably do previously. Over the last few years, I have taught a lot of people to spin. Some have tried it and realised it is not for them, some are ok with it, some embrace it whole-heartedly, pick up the ball of yarn and entangle it around their lives.

A few years ago, two women came to me for a lesson who both did that, in spades. I quite soon lost touch with one of them, and don't want to go into her story here. The other became a friend, not a close friend, but someone I liked very much and valued. She was amongst other things an indefatigable gardener, both of flowers and of vegetables, and also a great craftsperson. She was fearless in her delight in mixing and matching fibres and techniques, highly creative and a very talented spinner. She loved the craft.

I had very soon learned that she had mental health problems, but didn't at first realise the full extent of these. She gradually told me quite a bit, and I came to admire her even more because of the courage she had shown dealing with what life threw at her. Stable when I first met her, she had some ups and some downs, either of which could be close to catastrophic, making her not always the easiest person to engage with, as is so often the way. She stabilised again, more or less, and then I hear recently that she was doing badly again.

On Thursday, I learned that she had died, had killed herself. I feel very sad, although for her it is tempting to think that it was a rational choice. At least I can remember her enjoying her spinning, and I can think of her in the summer when I am up on the garden and looking at the Goldenrod she gave me for my dye patch.

At least there is that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a very enjoyable and profitable Friday's wool-tangling, hope we weren't too hard on you. Blog-watching beginner waving back.