Monday, March 5, 2012

Scarf 61: Another Adventure in Ruffling

Well, that didn't take long, did it? I suppose once I say I'm going to do something, it's easier to get around to doing it. Having a beautiful sunny day to take photographs didn't hurt either.

So now, at long last, I'd like to introduce you to Scarf 61. Do you remember when I mentioned buying a little bit of red yarn at Dallas' White Rock Weaving Center back in January? Well, here it is, all woven in! It was specially picked from among the hundreds of yarns by the friend who commissioned this scarf. The red yarn is a shiny cotton; the black is a soft and strong wool/alpaca/nylon blend , which was used in Scarf 59 and Scarf 23. Together they make a lightweight scarf with a subtle ruffle.
Scarf 61 is a custom order, so it's on reserve in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Checking In

Hello, my friends. February went by fast, didn't it? I didn't stop by here to post a single word in all of February, and here we are in March already. A year ago today I found out I was pregnant. After years of hoping & waiting, I was finally pregnant. It wasn't until March 10th that I found out the pregnancy wasn't going to last, so March 4th was a day of happiness, relief, and excitement. The anniversary of that day seems like as good a time as any to check in with you and let you know what's been keeping me away.

I've been taking a little break from weaving since Christmas, focusing instead on miscarriage-prevention. I've done acupuncture and Mayan abdominal massage. I've given up wheat and cold food and raw food. I've taken my temperature every day. I've taken supplements and tinctures and herbal teas every day. I've read books about fertility and hormones and miscarriage. I've read books about Victorian and Regency-period British detectives. I've peed in cups and taken tests and charted symptoms. I've joined fertility support groups. I've joined miscarriage support groups. I've done lots of yoga.

Yes, that's right. Lighthearted historical British mysteries are critical to a well-designed fertility regimen, in my experience. Doubly effective are series based on favorite characters of classic literature, such as the Mr. & Mrs. Darcy mysteries or the Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes mysteries. (There's no research on this; you'll just have to trust me.)

I've also been working a lot of extra hours to pay for all these extra treatments and supplements and classes and gluten-free brownies (yeah, you'll have to trust me on their necessity as well). And all of these activities, to a certain extent, explain my lack of time at the loom and on the blog. But I've also been kept away by the fear that my emotional state might bleed into my writing a little more than I'd like.

Paul Simon sings, "losing love is like a window in your heart / everybody sees you're blown apart / everybody feels the wind blow," and I wonder if it's true for the black hole in my heart, if you can read between the lines to discover the heavy darkness that sits in my chest, even when I'm happy. And I have been happy at times. I've stayed true to my intention to make 2012 the year of being happy with what I have. But you can't want something with all your heart that you have no means of bringing into your experience - even with the best of intentions to stay happy - without a little taste of darkness.

One of the most dangerous and delicate and destructive aspects of the experience of infertility is hope. Hope is the opposite of being happy with what you have. The challenge, then, is to steadfastly pursue your goal without hope of achieving it. What?! I know, I know. It's insane. How can you stay motivated? Good question. I don't know. What's worked for me at times is to focus only on my present task, without letting my mind race to the next step or the implications of success. I break it down into manageable pieces.
Can I give up gluten? Yes. Can I do it with joy? Hmmmm . . . oh, gluten-free brownies! . . . Yes. Can I remember to take my supplements on time? Yes. Can I stop thinking about how much I'd rather be holding a baby and do my work with integrity? Yes. At least most of the time.

By focusing on the sunlight on the tree outside my window, the beloved cat snoozing on my desk, the comfort of a warm cup of tea - in other words, by staying present and acknowledging the goodness that surrounds me - I am able to stay away from the what-ifs and if-onlys. That's not to say that they never come calling. It's impossible to work so hard to achieve something that will turn your life upside down without wondering if your efforts will pay off. But it helps.

So, if you were wondering, that's what I'm doing. I'm crying the tears and acknowledging the feelings and doing the work of staying present. I'm examining my underlying assumptions. I'm letting myself learn the lessons that I never wanted to learn.

Little by little, I will get back to the loom. The picture above is of Scarf 61, the only scarf I've made since Christmas. I hope to have it finished and photographed to share with you soon.

In the meantime, I hope that March treats you well. I hope that if you are facing challenges you never asked for that the tree, the cat, and the cup of tea are there for you as well.
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