Category Archives: Random Acts of Reading

Fears and Cravings

“Is this the journey I both fear and crave?”

~ Mark Nepo, Things That Join the Sea and the Sky

I fear sensations, like the nausea that ripples out from the knot in my stomach. Or the heat in my ears that feels like the wails of a desperate baby. I fear the sensation of my skin going cold, of my vision blurring. I especially fear the combination of these and so I step with lithe agility, cautiously, wistfully. I try to float above my own path.

Yet I crave groundedness. I want to dig my toes into the earth that deep roots might burrow. I crave an anchored existence, a history that extends into the past, beyond my lifetime. I crave my own blood, mirrored in warm flesh rather than cold glass.

This IS the journey. The one in which I’m pursuing the horizon of my life.

I fear judgement and rejection. I crave empathy and belonging. Though I know I am not alone–neither in these feelings, nor in the journey–mine is a solitary way. Is there a sweet spot between urgency and patience? That’s where I’m trying to be today so that tomorrow I can choose whether to stand still or take a step.


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Filed under Random Acts of Reading, Reflections

How Bookstore Browsing Led Me to Knitting

Sometimes I like to wander around in a bookstore just for the heck of it.  Because as a  library science grad student I don’t spend enough time with books or something.  About two months ago, I was browsing in a local shop and came across this book:

Author Anna Hrachovec blogs about her impossibly adorable creations at Mochimochiland.

I decided then and there that I wanted to populate my home with many of these precious yarn-y beings. And I could give them as gifts to children.  And adults.   Of course, first I would need to learn how to knit.

The prospect of teaching myself to knit did not seem daunting to me because I had just that week completed 32 of these guys (you can see how the Teeny Tiny Mochimochi would appeal to me):

The turkeys were a modified version of a project from this book:

In my head I was saying something like, YES!  I have successfully made 64 yarn pompoms.  Therefore, I can learn how to knit.

Yeah, I cheated on my Logic final all those years ago.

So despite the fact that my household was in an uproar as my husband prepared to leave on deployment and the fact that I had a deadline looming on a 350-page reading assignment and related research project and the fact that I was in the midst of starting up a Daisy troop, I watched an absurd number of knitting tutorials on youtube and I learned how to knit!!!

I started with this:

And made my daughter this:

I’m now on to my second project, a rib knit grey scarf based on a pattern in this book:

Admittedly, I am nowhere near skilled enough to tackle any of the projects in the Mochi book yet but I am happy enough to have something to do besides read on the 16-hour plane flight I’ll be taking this summer.

Has bookstore browsing ever led you to take up a new hobby?  Are there any other crazy crafters out there who seize upon an inspiration and run with it, prior experience be damned?  I know of at least one—my BFF came across this book (how cute is that cat?!) and promptly taught herself to crochet:

Coming up soon—my daughter’s “costume” for a nerd-themed birthday party.


Filed under Non-fiction, Random Acts of Reading