Discover more from Knots in the String
... for Knots in the String.
I’m endeavouring to shimmer – just a little bit. I’ve mentioned Lady Jo’s Glitter List before, but in my case it’s The Shimmer List because I don’t think I glitter at my age – I might just shimmer occasionally. The purpose of my list is to achieve without pressure, giving quiet joy and dimension to the way I live.
I’ve now accomplished number 10 on my revised Shimmer List:
Simplify home and wardrobe even more. If it’s not worn/used in last 12 months, give to charities. Don’t follow fashion. Don’t buy fast fashion. Don’t buy too much at all. Value one’s own choices.
Done! And the cast-offs all folded neatly and taken to the Red Cross.
Have you noticed how much of nature shimmers? Dew on the early morning grass, raindrops hanging from fragile stalks and branches, the stars at night, rivers when the moon hangs suspended, the sea when the sun is in full force.
The skin of a snake, the pearly seed cases of Honesty. Everywhere one looks – more and more. It’s a nice metaphor because life can and does sparkle. Even in my wardrobe as I clean out.
I found a sequinned cardi I’ve had for almost 40 years and I think I’ve worn it once. So I threw it on over my old white t-shirt, dragged my hair up and tried to shimmer.
But I decided that shimmering happens when I least expect it and probably when it’s observed by others, not me. (Psst! Just between you and me, I couldn’t part with the jacket. I hung it at the shimmering silky end of my wardrobe.)
And there’s a thing.
The end of my wardrobe has a selection of beautiful evening wear made by my mum for me when my husband and I attended a lot of theatre in the glory days of his profession. I can’t get rid of any of it. It’s Mum’s beautiful work and a reminder of a time when we had rather spectacular seats in theatres, met royalty and danced at balls. The days when people dressed up to go out - only thirty years ago and how times have changed!
Everything is made of Thai silk which has its own unique lustre, its own shimmer. In fact it also makes a shimmery noise – a whisper filled with the secrets of precious silkworms as they spin their fine cocoons. It also reminds me of Mum when I was a child. She would walk down the hall, glammed up, to give me my nightly kiss before she and Dad went out. They didn’t go out often, as both preferred home and hearth to social events - playing their own music on the radiogram, watching TV, Dad with a book by his side and Mum embroidering or crocheting. (Gosh - the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!)
I could hear her silks swishing down the hall – an enigmatic sound redolent of such things as etiquette, of dressing up to go out, of Crêpe de Chine perfume in a tiny bottle and a cake of mascara that had to be dampened before Mum could do her lashes.
She always looked beautiful but at these rare times she looked like a queen.
*On Kindle, still reading Benet Brandreth’s The Assassin of Verona. It’s a clever working of a Shakespeare-esque plot.
*In Audio, Ben Kane’s Lionheart. Brilliant writing. I am living in the Duc d’Aquitaine’s court in the 12th century.
*I found an image of the late Brenda Kinsel with her beautiful, foraged bag – the bag that inspired me to dive into colour and wool thread. I have to say that since I prepared the frame and design, it’s been mindblowingly addictive and I would love to have let Ms. Kinsel know how far that image has taken me. Sadly, it’s not to be, although I believe her daughters run a consignment store in SoCal.
*Still tying up the many threads involved in preparing a book for publication. The Red Thread is currently being reviewed for a tagline (the little rave review at the top of a cover that encourages you to buy a novel) and I have everything crossed that it will pass muster. The manuscript is currently being formatted for print and e-book whereupon it will then have to be read and every line checked before release.
*Lambs are continuing to pop/slither/slide from their mums but occasionally there are losses. Generally, I find spring so filled with promise and beauty but the older I get, the less I can cope with the dark side of lambing. However there was a special win this week. A ewe had lost her lamb and my son had rubbed the dead lamb over a new motherless lamb, and the living pair were then placed together in the intensive-care pens in the barn.
My five year old grandson explained it all to me as he took me to the pens, and I could hear the forlorn bleating from outside the stone walls.
Grandson: I don’t think the Mummy likes the baby very much, Nanny. The baby’s hungry.
Me as I watched the precious, weak little thing staring mindlessly at the wall, crying non-stop: Maybe the Mummy’s just tired after a hard day, darling.
Grandson: Maybe. Come on, let’s look in the machinery shed.
As we walked to the shed, I wondered at the acceptance and phlegmatism of a five year old, whereas I felt pulled apart by the thought the lamb would die. No colostrum, starving and a maiden ewe who appeared to have no inclination for mothering.
Two days later, I see that the lamb and ewe are well-mothered-up, the lamb now strong and viable.
I think we might have a minor miracle.
*Ballet. What can I say? Encore, mesdames et messieurs!
(moving video image v. blurred - apologies.)
I need to thank David Michie so much for recommending Knots in the String. I’m very grateful, and I would urge all to read David’s Substack – simply explained Buddhism, especially when seen through the eyes of His Holiness’s Cat (HHC). I’m not a cat person at all, but HHC just has this way…
Tom Ryan – I’ve missed Tom greatly over the last couple of weeks and was quietly thrilled when a poignant post popped into my email this week.
Sally Frawley – for memories as much as the delicious recipes. Her house in the Dandenongs must smell delicious. On my next trip to Melbourne, I want to smell those kitchen fragrances wafting down Collins Street.
Nat Mendham for gentle philosophies and for turning mending into an art form. Nat’s Christmas Tree farm isn’t that far along our road from our own farm - small world.
As I look out the window at the early morning day, I decide that a shimmer is a vibration, a sensation. It’s that one moment in any day when everything aligns. Transcendental almost - therefore what music to choose?
Something different. A soundtrack from Youtube that I used as inspiration for an ice scene in The Red Thread. I was researching the sound of ice. And when I listened again the other day, I realised it had a shimmering melody as it sang.
Listen and tell me if you agree.