Haiku-sday: Reflection

A light, a flicker

in the glass? Ha! It’s my hands

washing dirty bowls.

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Morning Light

From this lovely poem….

Everything changes, we’re told,
And now the changes are everywhere:
The house with its morning light
That fills me like a revelation,
The yard with its trees
That cast a bit more shade each summer,
The love of a woman
That both is and isn’t confounding,
And the love
Of this clamor of questions at my waist.

From “Egg” by C.G. Hanzlicek from Against Dreaming.

Three things: Quinces, jumpers, and liturgists

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One of the highlights of my week (which has consisted mostly of wiping noses and thinking of ways to exert the energy of whichever child is most well) was this number of quinces that came with my veggie box. I love quinces! Although we ate quince occasionally when I was a kid (I think), I don’t remember it making a particular impression on me. When I was a university student and staying at the convent at Hiruhaarama, one of the elderly sisters came into the kitchen needing help with a few buckets of the fruit that she’d got from a nearby tree. They were covered in fluff–natural pectin, she’d explained, to be left on as they cooked–and she was going to leave them on the table for a few days to allow the scent to fill the room, purely for enjoyment. And that is what I am doing with mine right now… until I can’t hack it any longer and I cook them up. I am going to cook them with some apples and use the mix for crumbles for winter puddings. I love a quince jelly or paste to go with cheese, but I am doing my best to avoid added sugar, and jelly or paste will be an irresistible temptation!

Another treat this week was finding not one, but two lovely homemade cardigans. One for S. (who rocks the matching mitts, using them as cleaning cloths), and one for L.–brown with rainbow flecks through it. Although I bought them at charity shops, they were new. And ridiculously cheap. Offensively cheap. These items cannot be made for the prices that they are being sold for (even excluding labour costs) and there is something in my feminist crafterly heart that wants to scream about that. There are people (women) volunteering their time to make these beautiful and practical items and  they do not receive recognition, financial or otherwise. And yes, they do it because they enjoy it, and see the societal value of wee ones being warm, but there is something that makes me feel uneasy. I touched on this a while ago–check Question 3, paragraph 5– but there is so much more I could say about the value (or lack thereof) of “women’s work” and just how much unpaid “women’s work” props up society–care work, social work, craft work, cleaning work, cooking work, etc, etc. I know, I know; these are very deep and anxious thoughts for a simple find in a charity shop… I should just just be grateful… but, in many ways, these thoughts do come from a place of gratitude… ugh… shush, Ruth

Finally, I have been listening to a new-to-me podcast called The Liturgists–discussions at the intersection of science, art, and faith. Do you know it? Two episodes I have enjoyed so far, and are very relevant to current events, are: How Do We Know What We Know? and Enemies.

The world we move through

From Tristan Gooley’s The Natural Navigator

Sometimes the subject is taught as a series of ‘tricks’, but looking at direction in relation to nature in this perfunctory way can rob us of the opportunity of connecting properly with it. There is a subtle difference between finding direction and knowing direction–it is sometimes possible to find direction using nature in seconds without feeling any great understanding of the natural world. To get to know direction it is neccessary to have a more fundamental understanding of the world we move through. If the aim is to enrich an experience then it is more important to understand why the methods work, than even the ability to use them. This is the defining definition between survival navigation and natural navigation.

Three things: Sunflowers, holidays, and Acacias For All

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It’s probably because they are so large compared to other flowers, but the geometry of a sunflower has always appealed to me. Look at this seriously happy one growing in our front garden! It is one of two that someone in the neighbour gifted us. He grows about 50 each year and then distributes them around the local kids. I don’t want to brag, but I think ours did especially well ;^) . I think that, and then I remember another friend who just tossed a packet of sunflower seeds onto her garden in March, resulting in a plantation of >12ft sunflowers. Did you know that sunflower seeds have a toxin in them that kills other plants? This is why there is often a “bald patch” under a bird feeder. Nature. Amazing.

The first week of the holidays has not been easy. I have had a cold and no voice. That said, it has been nice to have an excuse to simply slow down, nap, listen to audio stories with L. and chill out (when S. is not pushing his chair over to the kitchen sink and drinking the water from soaking dirty potatoes or busily moving pieces of decor around our flat). This is the recipe I credit for preventing a sore throat, which seems to have struck others around me down.

Acacias For All sounds like an amazing project.  This statement from the founder, Sarah Toumi reminds me so much of the work of the late environmentalist, Wangari Maathai: “The environment brings everything together – the economy, agriculture and women’s rights. It’s all there.” I was pleased to come across this article in the week that celebrated World Food Day.