the last few weeks seem like an avalanche of public holidays and commemorative days. easter, anzac day, mothers day. somewhere in there was’ may day’, but we dont ‘celebrate’ that any more, and meanwhile, the meanings of the other days have become twisted and warped under the pressure of hallmark commercialism. on the weekend, on twitter, i was outed as a communist. it made me laugh, and a little bit happy. i was outed because i remarked to webgoddess that i opposed commercialism (of everything), and i do, but mothers day, more than most of the others (with the hands down exception of christmas), makes me sad. on one hand, there is the politics of the thing, where ‘motherhood’ as a state is celebrated in a very crass pink fluffy way, and celebrated as a thing that all women aspire to. the pinnacle of womanness if you like. that just irritates me, but its typical in this world, with the mixed messages about what women should be. but its the personal part of mothers day that makes me really sad. not because im not a mother (i dont think whether you have children or not is the thing thats being celebrated), but because i dont have a mother to celebrate. oh she’s alive and kicking, in that realm where all the wicked witches of the west live, but she might as well be dead, all the support, love and comradeship i’ve had from her my entire life. so its this assumption, on mothers day, that all mothers are wonderful and we are so blessed to have our mums, that really gets me.
some of my friends are mothers. they are all, without exception, great mums. they are thoughtful, loving, caring and supportive of their children. they create fantastic family environments, wonderful family memories, that will build well adjusted, secure and intelligent adults. they knit stuff for their children, and for their grandchildren. they deserve to be celebrated. i wish they were my mum.
i know no one is perfect, i know no family is perfect, but on sunday afternoon i was alone in the house and i had a sudden urge for contact. i wrote my mum a note.
its been many years since i talked to her. we’ve been on and off over the last 20. the reason i stopped talking to her, and she to me, this time, are complicated and painful. i would have to do a lot of work to let that go. im not a saint. i wish i was. i carry a lot of anger, grief and frustration. im not sure if can let go. im not sure if i will post the note. i might. i might not.
but i am luckier than most. i got help when i was completely lost, and i learnt ways of dealing with these things called ‘family history’, ‘childhood trauma’ and ‘feelings’ that dont mean i come close to necking myself three times a week anymore. most of the time these days i am happier than i ever thought i would be. and i do have family. i have my sister, who is a wonderful bright crazy human being, and i have trent, who is like the big brother i never had (and also the annoying younger brother who smells), i have my gorgeous smelly furry dogs, and i have my friends. such great friends they are. and mostly all women. this is a turn up for me. i had major issues with women once, and had only male friends. now, not so much. its not that women are all wonderfully supportive either (as they are often portrayed), but i have found a group of them now who are there when i need them, who include me in their own family activities, who accept my strange habits (like not drinking enough) and annoying tendencies (like thinking too much), and who i love unconditionally.
also, they help me out when i run low on yarn (how’s that for a segue?) i have been trying to fnish the stripe study shawl. i know pictures of things in progress are infinitely boring, but it does look kind of pretty hanging in the almost bare magnolia:
i’m loving knitting this. im not bored with it yet, but i do want it to be finished. its not finished. its probably not even close. the pattern says to do 12 stripe repeats, and i only have 9 and a half.
and im running out of yarn:
the pattern says 2 x 440 yard skeins of yarn will do, and the madtosh sock is only 395 yards. this is not enough apparently. i could just stop and swap to the black border now, but this really is one of those shawls that you want to be able to wrap around yourself. the model in the picture can, but my knitter friends and i suspect she is like one of those knit-model dwarves they use in interweave knits all the time so that everything looks great on them and shit on you. i was talking to knitabulous about how maybe i should make the black stripes wider and use up some of that yarn and make it bigger that way. i was halfway through explaining this theory and she left the room. i thought she went to get a set of scales so we could weigh how much i had left. but no, she came back with this:
a whole other skein of ‘tart’. we did buy ours together, but i completely forgot she had one. and i would never have thought to ask for it because, you know, its madtosh sock in tart. everyone wants one of those, dont they? being the generous soul she is, knitabulous is going to swap me this skein of tart for one of the other madtosh sock skeins i bought recently. so i can keep going and make the shawl as big as i want, and wrap myself in its loveliness. and when i do i will think of my fantastic friends, and how lucky i am.
there is a single red rose in my garden at the moment. people walking past have been stopping to smell it.
this picture of it is for all my loved ones who help get me through every single day.