Friday, September 27, 2013

In Slow Motion

The title of this post is dedicated to Derek Jarman.  I am re-reading the final volume of his published diaries, Smiling in Slow Motion, written towards the end of his life.  If ever a man knew how to "seize the day" it was him.  One minute he is in hospital with a fever of 102, and the next he is at a film premiere in Russia / Paris / Leeds, or prowling Hampstead Heath in the dead of night (possibly not to be recommended) or broadcasting wildflower seeds at Dungeness in his now-famous Garden.  I had forgotten how much I enjoy his writing style.  And it is only now I realise the rollercoaster life he was leading at that time.  But with oh so much spontaneity and life!
I am in a funny place right now. This whole "watch and wait" thing is not my style. I want a plan, a map, a timeline, a timetable, a schedule, a list... anything that tells me where we are headed, what to look for along the way, and how long the journey is going to take. Myeloma was tricky enough, and I admit I got complacent after all those years of regular appointments, daily drug regimes and a set of textbook symptoms. But this? This is a mess.
FL is in a lot of pain, mostly in his feet and his back.  On Saturday night (around 2am) I dug out the "Best Before August 2007" super-drugs I had set aside just in case we ever needed them again. Those got him through to Tuesday when he was able to see a doctor. He now has some medium-strength painkillers (in between paracetamol and the super-woofers.) He tried them for a couple of days and nights but they are doing no good.
Everything hurts. He often feels sick and isn't eating properly. He is exhausted. Walking is avoided as much as possible.  But maybe this is "normal"...? We just don't know.
Yesterday, he developed an alarmingly bloodshot eye (more blood than eye) so today's planned pottering-around day off together has turned into a trip to Haematology, just to be on the safe side.
In these circumstances, my sewing has ground to a halt.
While I take great comfort from the rhythm of my knitting and watching the fabric grow, I have pretty much lost interest in clothes / fashion / style. It just doesn't seem to matter anymore.
I still prowl the blogs and admire what the cool kids are making, but I am faintly repulsed by the really productive people, who are churning out a garment a day (or so it seems from my jaundiced perspective). Am I jealous? No, I don't think that's it. I just don't see the point.
I have fabric and pattern for the Charley Tux Pants, but I can't be bothered putting scissors to cloth.
What about knitting?   Completely different.  If I could give up the day job and just knit, I would.
So I am channelling all my excess energies into fiddling with yarn. 
If I am not on Ravelry or watching a knitting podcast I am busy planning my next project, or actually, you know, knitting!
I have decided to smash the stash.



I cancelled my two yarn club subscriptions.  It's time I just got on and knitted up the yarn I already have, enjoy it, revel in it, possibly even roll in it... if I ever get that blanket finished! ;)
The three sets of yarn above are all from Skein Queen.  The top picture is Voluptuous for a Lush cardigan - my own (club) green, plus a fellow-Raveller's leftovers of Plumberry.  I have a plan!
The other two skeins are recent club shipments.  Absolutely beautiful.  And I am clear that it is definitely time to stop buying even more and make the most of what I already have... before I explode from a fit of over-consumption.
At the very top of this post you can see my latest on-a-whim project.  These are the Hermione's Time-Turner Mitts from Unofficial HP Knits... again!  I am using Yarn Yard Small Skein Society wool in the colour Blood Orange.  I would never have picked this wool for myself, but it is perfect for this project.  And this project is perfect for Waiting Rooms.  Excellent.


23 comments:

christinelaennec said...

Such a difficult time you're both going through - those words sound ridiculously trite, I know, but it's the truth.

I can sympathise with the "no map" feeling. With my daughter's illness I've begun to learn that there really is only the present moment. All those futures I worried about are off in some other reality, and although what's happening at the present moment isn't great, it's all we have and we make the most of it. And a lot more often than you'd think, the present moment provides a lot of happiness.

Good luck with the pain management. Don't ever hesitate to be FL's squeaky wheel.

And keep knitting, Roobeedoo! And I'm sure sewing will charm you again, just not right now. Be good to yourself and do what makes you happy. Big hug.

LinB said...

Ahh, those days of uncertainty, which might drag on for years ... one never knows. I remember them well from my brother's illness, a decade ago. Far better to take up your knitting needles and soothe yourself with (somewhat) mindless, repetitive, familiar soothing handwork; than to set the puzzle of a sewing project that demands concentration and attention to detail and that would frustrate you needlessly if you messed it up ... one's mind is worth guarding, after all. I'm so glad your stash includes some bright, cheerful colors. Think about starting The Brown Socks now, instead of last month!

All sorts of useless yet oddly comforting platitudes are on my lips for you right now. I won't annoy you by writing them down. Remember that you are loved.

Jodie said...

I wish I had words, Roo. But I don't. Sewist's are planners (I think). And life without a plan must be so hard - given your situation. Keep Knitting you deserve the comfort. We're thinking of you from long across the pond. You and FL both are in my prayers. I hope that you can find some pain relief for him.

unlabelled clothes said...

Oh Roo, I always feel so moved by your posts. But, I don't have the right words to say in reply - even though the thoughts are there. I just want to send you a hug. Keep knitting.

ravelledsleeve said...

I don't really know what to say, but I just wanted to let you know that I am sending lots of love and positive thoughts to you and FL, as always xxx

ravelledsleeve said...

I don't really know what to say, but I just wanted to let you know that I am sending lots of love and positive thoughts to you and FL, as always xxx

The Foggy Knitter said...

Sometimes you just have to do what helps you to get through and if that's knitting then knit on, like Elizabeth Zimmerman wrote. Hugs and love xxx

Tamsin said...

Goodness Roo, I don't know how you keep going, I really don't. But you have to, and you do. The knitting must help. I know we have never met, but my heart goes out to you every time you write a one of these. Thinking of you and FL.xx

Donna Hensley said...

I find knitting soothing, while sewing is slightly stressful for me. There's no need for extra pressure. Nothing wrong with putting aside stuff for a while and sticking with what makes you feel better.

Maeve said...

Hi Roo. Lots of positive vibes heading your way in this difficult time. Keep knitting, if thats what gets you through the days then so be it.

Sarah said...

Sending you and FL lots of ((HUGS)) and happy energy your way. I am a planner / list-maker, too, and often knit my hands off when I cannot do either.

Cherie said...

I'm another from across the pond who sends you as much energy and love I can muster...I'm also a planner, and am stumbling a bit with my husband's pending retirement (he is not a planner), but that is nothing compared to your challenges. Do what you need to do for yourself; only then can you help Fl. Hugs.

tccomments2013 said...

dear roo,

I have been lurking about, still reading your wonderful writing but have been in a miasma of grieving and not inclined to pick up my cyber pen very often.

I am so very sorry for all that FL and you are gong through. I know it well - that awful longing for a PLAN, and the frustration and anxiety of WHAT'S NEXT. I so wish there was something I could do or say, but I can only send you my love, and more love, and my most powerful vibes for FL's comfort and for whatever will offer you respite from worry and sadness.

much love and light,

Karen (Sutherland), TC

beate grigutsch said...

i can totally understand why sewing is impossible in this time. knitting is our second nature, and it is some kind of meditation for you i think.

i send you the golden autumn light we finally have here.

mags said...

I don't want to say anything trite. I think the serious illnesses and traumas in life shake your confidence to plan. I reduced the time over which I planned. When things were at the worst I used to plan what would be good over the next 30 minutes.

MaryinTN said...

Sending you both love and hugs Roo. Start that pair of socks or lace you've been putting off, start several pairs. Knitting is so good for times like this. Don't want to say anything trite but we are praying for FL and you here in the mountains of east Tennessee.

Colleen said...

Sending thoughts of love and concern from North Carolina.

Sandy said...

Pain is such an appetite-stealer and long-term, deep pain seems to sap the energy in ways that few other things can, so you are right to get FL the pain relief he needs.

Sometimes we are called upon just to be witnesses and to wait, although that action of inaction seems so pointless when we (I am one) are accustomed to moving the world forward by the things we do.

I offer you up my prayers and intentions for the Light of Love and Healing to guide your steps (and fingers with your knitting) toward the Answers which give you the most comfort, and help you to provide the same to FL.

Oranges and Apples said...

I have never commented on one of these posts, it's so hard to find the right words. But I am thinking of you. A life without a plan is the scariest prospect for me and I wish you and FL all the best.

Roobeedoo said...

Oh lordy lordy, this was indeed "one of these posts"! Thank you all for putting up with my more maudlin moments :)

Suzie Simpson said...

Praying for comfort for you, FL, The Boy and The Girl. I just can't think of anything to say.....

natalie said...

I'm honoured that you have selected Blood Orange for Haematology Waiting Room knitting. There is a sort of poetry about that in an odd way.

May your waits be short and the time you have together be long.

acharmofmagpies said...

You write so richly, so beautifully, that it is impossible not to feel like we are there with you, watching, hurting. There are no words. My thoughts remain with you, and if knitting is what gives you comfort, then knit you should.