Five (or Six) Senses Friday

It was as if my spine was a spring all wound up tight tight tight. I wanted the run to go something like a Meditation, like a loosening of that spring, like peaceful abiding, but about my spine instead of my breath. Alas, running is a Thinking Place for me, and I spent those forty minutes trapping thoughts like so many fireflies in a jar. I did not let them go. Perhaps I should carry a tape recorder and set aside any aspirations to meditate anywhere besides the spinning wheel.

I did manage to keep my limbs loose around that tightly coiled spine and felt a little lighter, floppier, freer when I found myself once again at the front door.

Mixed a myriad of stock solutions, and that felt good. Made lists for myself, and that felt necessary.

Spun, and remembered how to Meditate. A thought comes and I slip it into the forming yarn. Goodbye, thought. Still wound up tight, though.


Tricky Tricky and Cauldron…couldn’t help it. Getting my Creepy on a little early this year. I’ll try to keep the former in the shop throughout September and October. It makes a lovely plied yarn.

Anyway, onward to FSF: A weekly ritual of sensual reflection, adopted from Abby’s blog. Play along if you wish, in the comments or link to your own blog.

Touching: Our backs to the redwood trees, and looking up.

Hearing: Too much. Miss the quiet of my own home…

Tasting: Mint and chocolate. It’s a happy marriage.

Smelling: Bergamot. Mornings are chilly these days, and I like to huff my mug of Earl Grey. It’s the smell of Cozy and Comfort and Everyone Else is Asleeeeeeep and I Like It That Way.

Seeing: Stars on late evening walks.

Feeling: Like The Boy has a lot more fun being girly than I do. The polish was his idea.

Fresh dye pots daily. I’m in a frenzy. October now has three events in store for The Spun Monkey. Newly added to the list is the East Bay Mini Maker Faire on Sunday, October 24th from 10am-5pm. Click the link for details…ticket information is here.

From the website:

What and why: A Maker Faire is about celebrating learning and doing – not the finished and perfect end product.  It’s a place to share what we’re learning with others, and celebrate the fun and freedom of being an amateur.

Featuring both established and emerging local “makers,” the East Bay Mini Maker Faire is a family-friendly celebration coming to Oakland on Sunday, October 24, 2010.  It will feature rockets and robots, DIY science and technology, urban farming and sustainability, alternative energy, bicycles, unique hand-made crafts, music and local food, and educational workshops and installations.

Yeah, pretty awesome. Hope to see some of you there!

I’ll leave you with this morning’s theme song…


Five (or Six) Senses Friday and What Showering Does to My Brain

I don’t know what it is about getting in the shower…the ideas, they just flow like…well,…are you going to make me say it?

Fine. Water. They flow like water. It’s as if, in every drop, there are tiny particles of matter that get sucked into my pores, travel up to my brain, and form into the building blocks of some grand new plan. Usually, fresh blocks get stacked away for later reference…I might dry off and jot down some notes to come back to at a more appropriate time in my life or sometimes, on a lucky day, I think of something I can apply to my life right now. The latter is usually a small something. Nothing to write home (or blog) about. Lately, though, the idea blocks have all been compatible and building upon one another. I am not merely stacking them in a corner of my brain to collect my mental detritus like so many cobwebs. A structure is taking shape…something I think I can create in real life and soon. Sort of. A few more showers, and I think I’ll get there.

Running is like that for me, too. The world around me melts away and my consciousness shifts from focusing on my stride to plucking blocks from the stacks and dissecting them, slapping some mortar between a few and sticking them together, or just sorting out the rubbish. In this way, my route takes no time at all…I hardly know what I’ve been thinking about that whole time until I reach home and scramble for a pen and paper. I’ve tried other forms of meditation and been left feeling frustrated and spiritually incompetent. Spinning is very calming, but I wouldn’t describe it as meditative anymore (I used to). But running…yes, I do think I’m getting close with running. Perhaps if I spent most of my waking time either running or in the shower I would have a lot more of my shit together.

Anyway, onward ho to FSF. A weekly ritual of sensual reflection, adopted from Abby’s blog. Play along if you wish, in the comments or link to your own blog.

Seeing: The finish line. 1600+ yards of 3-ply just about done. Phew!

Tasting: Teff! It was very exciting. I love discovering gluten-free grains that don’t suck. The whole grains were soaked overnight, cooked up like polenta and then fried into little cakes. The taste reminded me very much of acorn. Pardon the gratuitous pile of bananas.

Hearing: Rock.

Touching: Dry, crunchy grass underfoot. Oh, summer.

Smelling: Fresh baked bread.

Feeling: Excited. There are some good things lurking just under the radar. Will reveal soon.

Happy weekend, all. Enjoy!


…it’s that thing I’m supposed to be doing instead of moping around, right?

Stuck, stuck, stuck.

Camping this weekend should help with a little emotional detox, though. A lake in the woods is a great place to dump one’s mental baggage…just don’t forget to tie a few bricks to it before you let it go.

We’ll also be exploring the Grass Valley area as a potential destination for our moving boxes. It’s a dual-purpose kind of trip. I have no expectations…just some hope and a picture of ourselves happy in our work, with a gaggle of goats to tend, a place to build the outdoor bread oven and my lime-colored chopsticks unpacked and sitting on my dinner table.

Running has helped immensely. I started up again after an eight year hiatus just a few weeks ago. I feel better, physically, than I have felt in a very long time, and I’ve also noticed a lift in my spirits. I have no idea how far I’m going….just picked a loop that, for now, takes me about 35 minutes to complete. That’s enough for me to know. The early-twenties runner in me always wanted to know how far, how fast and what her heart rate was up to. She only cared about the numbers and feeling a decent burn and then she was off on the bike or the climbing wall. She couldn’t have cared less about the way she was running. Current me is fascinated with the whole process. I think about things like the angle of my foot as it hits the pavement and how my posture changes to accommodate the terrain. It crosses my mind to check the library for a few books on running. Am I doing it right? I guess the point is that a decade ago, I didn’t give a moment’s thought to how my joints would feel at 40 or 50, or about cultivating good form and a healthy respect for all my delicate inner workings. I’ll be 32 this month, and keeping the inner workings happy seems to have made its way to a much higher position on the ol’ Priority List.

Well, anyway, so far it’s a pretty decent buoy, the running thing.

Like peas.

And the sky, now that the rain has given way to consistent summer-y sunshine.

You will notice spinning fibers are reappearing in the shop. Expect to see more of them. I’ve really been enjoying the dyepots lately, so I’m riding that wave…Fiber Clubs are coming soon for both acid and natural dyes! Subscribe to the feed on my Etsy shop to be notified when the subscriptions become available, or just watch this blog. In the meantime, there are new goodies going up every day:

Time to bring the drum carder out under the beautiful spirit-buoying sky.