Sunday, February 14, 2021
I love fortune cookies. And Magic 8 Balls, wishing wells, tarot cards, horoscopes. DH, the astronomer, highly offended by astrology, says, in his scornful voice, it's a wonder I don't go to Las Vegas and play dice games if I love chance so much. He doesn't understand. Dice games are all about specific good fortune, usually with money as the object and honestly, money has never been high on my quest. It's there, but it was never much of a reason for doing something. I'd never have been a public librarian in a small rural community if that had been the aim. No, the fun of "fortunes" - of random promises from nobody at all is the opportunity to imagine "what if". It's the prompt that opportunities are out there that makes them fun. It's the puzzle with a treat in the middle.
Most years I make Fortune Walnuts at Christmas time. I carefully crack the English Walnuts into 2 boat shaped half shells and empty them out. Then I type dozens of good fortunes on little strips of paper and roll them into tiny scrolls. Stuffed in the shells which are glued shut, they lie, waiting like surprises, for the recipients. Usually I spray paint them shiny silver and gold and roll them in glitter because - hey - glitter - what's Christmas without glitter, right?
I learned that I had to explain, when I give them, that the recipient has to actually crack open the nut - maybe on Christmas day - maybe on New Year's day, after one giftee told me, when I asked her what her fortune was, (they're generic fortunes so it's interesting to see how people interpret them) that she just threw it out after Christmas. Huh??? I mean - if someone handed you a glittery gold walnut and said "This is a Christmas Fortune Nut - it's got a fortune in it" - wouldn't it occur to you to crack it open and see what was inside? Evidently she felt about magical surprises the way DH does. No Such Thing As Magic.
So lordy - what does this have to do with anything - particularly with anything happening in the Land-0-Bess? Not much, I suppose except it explains why I like horoscopes and today's horoscope reminded me that Mercury is still retrograde and that has to be why the sweater I have been knitting the past few weeks, has had to be re-knit in almost every part. Time was when I knit pretty constantly and had 2 dozen sweaters to show for it. I had a basic pattern in my head that could be knit entirely in one piece so I didn't have to sew up the edges. I knew it inside and out and could just pick up 10 balls of yarn and cast on. But after you have 20 sweaters you probably don't knit any more. And then - after boredom and style changes and letting your hair go grey and oh yes, moths - you realize you don't have 20 sweaters any more but by then you have forgotten the pattern - so you make errors in your calculations and you make a sweater that is way too big - so you rip it out and start again. And then you realize that the sleeve cuffs are just too tight so you rip them out and start again. And then, you remember vividly that the instructions said something starts after the first inch of the yoke - but you forget that what started then was not shoulder decreases but any stranded colorwork pattern you were putting in. So you rip that sweater back to the sleeve joins and knit again. And eventually you've recovered all the lost sweater you had to pull out and you're almost done.
And in my case, I really never minded. I just wanted something to do with my hands while DH and I watched young Europe sing Monteverdi madrigals on youtube during cocktail hour. Because oh my goodness - there is so MUCH good music out there on youtube - even for the esoteric among us. Knitting a basic sweater definitely filled the bill.
So here I am - so fortunate - so lucky that I can explore the small world of my kind of music, performed by beautiful youth - aren't 30 year olds so pretty? And those with heavenly voices are an added boon. And here I am with a wealth of yarn - maybe not the best colors for my faded complexion these says, but nothing a little blusher and eyeshadow can't fix. And it's all sitting here on shelves in my studio. Why should I care if I have to knit it over and over again? I like to knit. It's soothing and interesting. I'm not in a hurry and I am not going anywhere to show it off. I'm just so fortunate. Even the gods think it's a good idea to do it again - after all, Mercury is in retrograde. I should know. I read my horoscope. Fortunate me.
In one other area I had specific good fortune yesterday. The ice came - and the power went off - but the first time in the afternoon so there was still daylight to see my way around - even to read a book and knit. And just in time to go into the kitchen with lanterns, to start dinner, it came back on again. With the chicken in the oven (gas oven) we could watch our favorite cocktail youtube videos (and knit) and when I went to the kitchen to dish up supper - it went out again, just in time to enjoy a candlelit meal. And once replete, with a glow from the wood stove and the guttering flickers of those candles, here it came back on again - electricity - how sweet. And fortunate.
May you all have fortunate weeks - because there is good fortune in almost every nut - you just have to crack it open and pluck it out.