Another wonderful day in paradise

The sun is out, the air is crisp and clear, the skies are blue, I haven’t killed off the containers of marigolds I planted a few days ago…life is good here.

When I first moved to Wisconsin in July 1999, every day looked like this. Wait, the skies were even bluer. Every day I got up, opened the windows, and announced, “Another wonderful day in paradise!” When I look back on it now, this was probably not helpful. My now-XH had just uprooted himself to move with me for the job I had gotten. Granted, he got a job in his field literally the day we moved in, but the whole circumstance, though necessary for our family’s survival, was probably the beginning of the end. He didn’t say anything about how off-balance all the changes were making him, and I blithely assumed we were on the same page, down to the word. Within months I discovered the error of my ways. (Note to others: Never blithely assume anything.)

That’s enough of all that…but from time to time the skies here are SO blue and clear that it stops you in your tracks. Another day like that was September 12, 2001. All flight traffic was banned for two days and I have never seen a prettier sky. Unfortunately it only served to contrast the fact that, while my co-workers had nobly stood in line for hours to give their blood to the victims of the terrorist attacks… none of it would be needed. Here was beauty, all around us, and over there in that pile of dust was such pain and anger and sorrow.

It’s easy to say it was a symbol of hope, or that things were going to get better, or that there is always beauty in the midst of despair. A little too easy and pat. Douglas Adams wrote that intelligence was the ability to hold two diametrically opposed concepts in your brain and not crack. (I’m paraphrasing. I know someone else will remember this and put the real quote in the comments — it’s from HHGTTG.) In the post-9/11 days, this kind of intelligence was tough to find. It was easier to raise a flag or say a prayer, and those things are worth doing, too.

Now, beautiful blue skies have a dual ability. They give me hope. And they remind me of unspeakable tragedy.

We hold two contrasting things in our hands when we knit for others, using warm, soft wool to counteract all kids of pain. The opposite of cancer is a soft hat. The opposite of grief is a beautiful shawl. The opposite of cold is a thick scarf. The opposite of fear is an afghan. The opposite of loneliness might well be handknit socks.

With all that in mind, I’ve been toying with the idea of establishing an orphanage for unwanted yarn, that could be adopted by knitting groups for their charity work. I don’t have the space or time to do this well right now, but it seems like something that needs to be done. So I think I’ll just put it out there and see what the interest is. What I have in mind is kind of a storehouse for acrylics. Send in your unused skeins and leftovers. Request yarn for a group project. Let us all know about upcoming charity knits that could use acrylics.

Oh yeah, and come up with a catchy name for the whole thing. I’m stumped but I know you guys will come up with something really cool.


Published in: on May 4, 2007 at 10:23 am  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow – you remember the sky the day after 9/11 as well? I even wrote about it in our family scrapbook. I remember the sunrise the morning of the 12th as I was driving to work. The sky was the most brilliant oranges, pinks, and reds I have ever seen. It looked as if the Angels in Heaven were trying to give humanity something beautiful from all that sorrow and bloodshed.

    What if you had a virtual storehouse of sorts for that yarn. People could post what they have to donate – and people who need it could post what they would like and then it can be sent directly to them from the original owner? It could solve the space problem?

  2. My, we’re feeling deep today, aren’t we?

    I remember the quiet, no airplanes and how much it freaked me out when I saw a plane in the air again for the first time. But I don’t remember the sky; I was indoors glued to the news.

    I’m mulling over the name thing and will get back to you when the fates decide to once again gift me with creative powers.

  3. What a beautiful post. I love the orphanage idea, I will definitely let you know about the name – I will mull too.

  4. Yarn Depot, maybe? Implies that it travels in and travels out again, it it makes its way to a deserving project.

    Yes, the skies after Sept 11 were heartbreakingly beautiful. A couple of days later I was out for a walk and saw an neighbor coming the other way down the block as the first plane either of us had seen for days came overhead. We looked at it, and each other, with the same jumble of thoughts in our heads.

  5. The ‘virtual warehouse’ is a great idea, Ms. Cheesehead! and Beth with the original idea! Yarn Depot is cool, if no yarn store has it already. Weird word combos are flitting through my head like CyberFiber etc., but probably more appropriate for an online yarn store. (Maybe my brain is telling me I have enough stash to OPEN an online yarn store. My husband certainly does.)

    I too remember the empty, blue and beautiful skies on September 12th. Who of us had ever seen the skies over our houses with no planes, no contrails, nothing but blue? Then, when a military plane did fly over, an adrenaline jolt of fear.

    On the other hand, my memory of September 11th includes the beginning of a new life. I did wonder what kind of a world this baby was inheriting; but in the midst of sorrow and fear, there is still rebirth of hope and innocence.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking post, Beth.


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