Crowz Nest

Because it's time... as it was once before.

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Location: Port Murray, NJ

I'm a bit old to be starting out in life again, but that's where I am. Sadly. Or gladly. It's where I am. Come along. Watch the fun. Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

How I stay sane

One of the first gifts Joe gave me was a beautiful leather bound journal. So, I began writing in earnest again. It keeps me sane, or as sane as I'm ever likely to be. I laid in bed last night, looking for something to hold on to. I pulled out the journal, and found this. From a different stage in my journey, but just what I needed to read.

These Wings

Within the chrysalis
strength and will crystallize
until the moment when
desire and need come together
to force the beginning
the struggle for freedom.
Impossibly fragile,
enormously frail,
driven by
hunger beyond comprehension,
risk neither weighed nor calculated,
effort neither measured nor rationed,
the push goes on

Emerging, finding only that which cannot be touched -
air, light, space and time –
these wet wings unfold and dry,
revealing in their new velvet
symmetry and pattern unexpected
And the inexorable need to try
one final powerful push,
discovering in that upward thrust
the surprising thrill of flight


Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Some things are not as easy as you think they'll be, even when, at first flush, you think they're going to be so hard as to be impossible.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Scattered thoughts

I'm going through a challenge right now, having been asked to do something that is proving to be one of the hardest things I've ever tried to do. In order to succeed, I'm going to have to dig deep into the wells of faith, stir up the depths of patience, and put my entire belief system to the test. I can do this, and I will do this, simply because I love the person who has asked me to. It's hard when you're tired and emptied to find your strength, but right now I've had to walk up to fear, nod at its ugly face, tell it I see it, and walk right on through it. Fear breaks into pieces that surround me; they ambush me in the middle of a task, or choke me in the middle of the night. But they're small and insignificant when measured against the love, and I've come to see love as the place within which I will find my faith, breathe life into my patience, and come home to the seat of my beliefs.

I've always thought of winter as a fallow time, a time within which roots are sunk more deeply into soil that remains warm and nourishing below the cold, hard surface, a time within which the soil itself replenishes and rests and restores life giving mineral. And so it is with the soil of my soul right now. In the quiet, in the cold, I must believe that something alive and warm is growing stronger, and will soon be ready to show its shoots once more to the sun.

Last week was hard. A good friend died suddenly. As I think of what his family is going through, it casts some light on my own challenge, and lets me know this is only a moment in my life, and I only have to get through it. It is the time "before." I have only to hold a space open for the new and it will come.

This Friday is Candlemas - Imbolc. As usual, I ask for help and it's given. Here's a poem that came my way this morning that speaks directly to the heart of my challenge. I'm not even going to attempt to write my own when I find something so beautiful, so articulate, and ultimately so evocative of my own struggle:


The feeling in this still dark, unstable, muddy time
that the light at the end of the tunnel is my own soul
staring back at me on the inside
and I'm blind as a mole pushing through
some primal unseen path
with my stubby little snout and inexplicable will

If winter is a wide ocean of night
January is the hollow point, the trough
that holds visions too deep to fish up into morning
it is a cave too far down for light or even hunger
life hibernating in me suspended, waiting
and the mind floating free of the body now
like something promising but unborn
I want to lean over my own self to see if I'm breathing
I want to regress into a world of fur and blood
I am as slow as a stone's pulse

Into this no place, no thing
Imbolc comes at the end of forever
and the beginning of all time
Suddenly there is one fiercely yellow crocus open
dreams pierce dense and soggy layers of sleep
right up into the thin clear air of day
just like the red torpedo shoots of peonies
pierce the ground by my back door
carrying all the courage that weeks later they will need
to unfurl those painfully delicate new leaves

I am asking for that courage, Mother
I'm ready as I'm gonna be
nothing more to wait for
just hold my hand while my eyes stumble into light

---Miriam Dyak 1994

So, I know what power holds my hands. I believe in it. I believe in myself, though that is the bigger challenge. I know that the light awaits. If I have learned nothing else over the past 2 and a half years of my life, I have learned the truth of the power of love. I can do this, and I will.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

More fun with knitting

My hairdresser, Jen, is expecting her first child in March. Jen's an unusual hairdresser - tomboy through and through, drives a Harley, skydives, definitely keeps up with the boys ... she's been gagging on the baby stuff, all pinks and powder blues. I wanted to make something for her, but wasn't sure what I could make that wouldn't be white, that awful bon bon green, or one of the shades of baby blue or pink.

Last year, my friend Janie sent me a box of wonderful needle point wool. This comes in tiny amounts per skein, but in lovely, rich colors. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, as there wasn't a lot of any one color. And just this past fall, a wonderful knitting book had fallen into my hands. This is the Mason Dixon knitting book, written by two ladies who have a great knitting blog, from which I've picked up a number of tips and stitches. Fun stuff, if you're into that sort of thing (which, clearly, I am.)

In the book, one project caught my eye, but I sort of forgot about it until the drive to make something for Jen arose. Then, as I was doing the dishes one evening, it all came together as inspiration. So, here is the start of my baby blanket for Jen's baby, using the needlepoint wool, and the log cabin knitting technique I pulled from the Mason Dixon book.

The colors are, as usual when I take a flash shot of my knitting, disappointingly bleached out. They're much deeper and richer in person. This is fun. As you add each color, the character of the whole piece changes. I find myself sitting up knitting well past the point when I should be in bed, getting my desperately needed beauty sleep.

What are the odds that I'm ever actually going to give this one away?