When the Bough Breaks

There have been times in my life when the kind of feeling I’ve been feeling—a generalized exhaustion, a dulling of my creative senses, a desire to hibernate—has stressed me out. How can I nudge people to embrace their creativity if mine is on hiatus?

Now, I’m not stressed. But I also apparently forgot entirely to write this newsletter last weekend. Not stressed, no, and also revoking all promises I’ve made. I don’t know exactly when I’ll write, though I’ll try for it to be every weekend (or on a Monday).

We had our second year of Zoom Passover seders this weekend, and I was. not. feeling. it.

Last year, Passover fell about a week after North America shut down. Zoom was a marvel of a technological consolation prize. We can’t fill our living room with family and friends to repeat this ancient tradition, but we have this amazing tech that at least allows us to be together, apart.

This year, I’m so fucking sick of Zoom. After most of a year of British Columbia doing relatively great for safety and confidence in response to the virus, I’m really quite deeply frustrated that our leaders spent all of that trust and togetherness by forbidding all socializing since early November. Now case counts here are higher than they’ve been at almost any other point in the last year, we’ve got nothing left to give, and even stricter restrictions were just announced today.

Honestly, that announcement took the pin out of my anger. I’m grateful. I’d been feeling really frustrated, and now I’m not anymore. I suspect that tomorrow I may find some of that creativity returns. But if it doesn’t, that’s okay too.

Anyway, something I love about seder is that it is a very big part of the tradition to welcome all to one’s table. Our seder is full of immediate family, extended family, other people’s family, chosen family.

There was another big difference between this year’s seder and last year’s: Last year, we could assume very confidently that all attending the seder were doing alright. We were adapting, adjusting, healthy and strong. This year, that assumption could not be made, though when someone did make it, I managed to jump in for the folks around our Zoom table, to let them know that I know that some of us have experienced terrible loss over the last year, and fear, and stress, and any number of crushing and life-altering shifts and changes we would never have chosen for ourselves or our loved ones.

We are, all of us, changed now, and the changes will keep coming.

So I’m still knitting, I’m still able only to read romance novels and nothing else, I still love my new job and all of the work it entails. If my creativity is the sacrifice needed to keep me going with all of that, it seems like a no-brainer to let it go. It’ll come back when I have room for it again.

We had a wicked windstorm yesterday, and right after the kid asked what would happen if the hemlock tree in our backyard fell on the house, a 20-ft bough fell from it, thankfully not onto anyone and thankfully missing the electrical wires leading to our house.

It was a welcome near-miss, really. A reminder that the wind keeps blowing, the world keeps spinning, and sometimes the worst-case scenarios don’t come to pass. 🌲


We’ve got a couple days left for our March discussion threads:

One about books, and one about crafts.

Come hang out and chat!

Items of Note

What I’m making: Still a Pi Shawl, and I also did some spinning for the first time in ages, using some dyed batting I did not love so much so I wouldn’t be sad from spinning it badly. The yarn isn’t terrible, though, and there’s one person I know who might love the colours, so I’m making a toque 😅.

What I’m watching: That Netflix show about teenage dancer danger/drama. It’s not terrible but also not great. Amid all the disappointing news about Joss Whedon, we’re also watching the beginnings of Buffy as a family, which is both wonderful and, now, also disappointing. Sigh.

What I’m reading: Blech. I tried my hand at a cozy mystery, but it read like a romance novel just without the romance, and I hated all the characters, so I put it down. Now I’m reading The Flatshare, by Beth O’Leary, and I didn’t know going into it that the female protagonist is a craft-book editor and so it is truly delightful to read. I’m just chuckling and chuckling. So, a good one for us crafty bookish types! The kid and I are reading The Boy in the Striped Pajamas still, and I’m still very luke-warm on this one. In fact, I might go so far as to say I do not recommend it, but I’m not entirely sure I’m ready to commit to that yet. I’m going to try to convince the kid that we should re-read Winnie the Pooh when we’re done with this one. I don’t think I can endure the fourth Anne of Green Gables book, but Pooh is the ultimate balm for These Days, isn’t it? I’m hoping he’ll at least let me start it; I’d bet money he’ll be hooked after just one evening. It was, after all, his absolute favourite when he was four, and I am confident he’ll notice all kinds of things he didn’t have a clue about back then.

What are you enjoying (or hating) reading these days? Head over to the book discussion thread!