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Archive for February 4th, 2005

To Everything (Turn Turn Turn) There is a Season

Friday, February 4th, 2005

Wow. My friend Suze told me that things in my life would shift because of my major trip to Africa. I am already seeing this happen and I have only been home for one month. (Can that really be?)

Before I left, I had dinner with a friend who I’ve known since about 1992. We used to work in the same building, and now we have dance class together once a week. We have always liked one another. I just figured (this is silly, I know) that she was such an elegant person, that I didn’t really fit in her inner circle. Well, she is not only elegant but extremely down to earth when life calls for it. And she has lived in Western Africa in the past, and has visited Africa many times.

So before my trip we sat down and had the best chat, and I’m determined to continue more of getting to know her now that I am home. We have more in common (even though she is elegant and I am fairly untamed) than I allowed myself to think. I am done with that nonsense! On to being friends with people who are real and wonderful!

Then there is another woman I’ve known socially for about 8 years. Her husband works with Brian, so we see each other at company events. We talk like crazy every time we are in the room together. Yet we have never taken time to socialize outside of these events. End of that! When I saw her in January, we exchanged email addresses and now we are planning to get together in the next few weeks.

She’s a professional tailor and I used to sew a LOT… we both love fiber and color. She just got a chainstitch freehand embroidery machine (vintage stuff) and so I’m taking over my Egyptian and Kenyan items that have that sort of embroidery on them. I think we’ll have a grand time together.

And then there are you folks. It’s so odd, I get over 600 visitors a day to colorjoy.com, be it the SockTour, my Patterns, Classes, Yarns & Kits or this weblog. And I average less than one comment a day. (I have made 790 posts and received 634 valid comments.) That is, I did in the two years before I turned off the comment feature late in November 2004. I was getting sometimes more than 100 spam comments a day, and deleting them was a real nightmare. When I went to Africa, I knew I could not stay up on all that maintenance so I just eliminated comments entirely.

Yet, somehow, I’m still getting a few lovely folks writing me. They take the time to switch over to their email program and actually email me rather than clicking a comment link. Today I had such nice letters from Jayne, Elizabeth R., Lea-Ann, Lois and Jill (some may have written because of my posts on Socknitters rather than this blog, but at least two specifically mentioned ColorJoy! the Weblog in their notes)! And was it yesterday, that I heard again from Cyndy, who has been as loyal as rain in April.

These notes are like getting a little love letter. It makes my heart sing! And I need new friends right now, because a handful of folks that used to be in my life are not going to be in it much longer.

I am really appreciating today my newer friends in my life. All these knitting folks I hang out with (the ones you see me talk about most here are Sharon P of Knitknacks, who goes out of her way to stay in touch and invite me to tea, followed by Luann C, who doesn’t have a blog but reads here frequently).

And all the other knitters and artists I see more these days, and who are integral to my current quality of life! And all the cool people who show up for the Fabulous Heftones and Abbott Brothers performances. (Two of whom I ran into last night at Wharton Center, how cool is that?)

Thank you all. Thank you for reading my weblog. Thank you for being part of my statistics… I know you are there even when you don’t write me. And thank you over and over again, if you take the time to write every once in a while (that would include Regina, Ken/KnitDad and Sarah P, who write regularly as well). And folks who don’t write as often but still take the time occasionally. It means the world to me.

So what am I doing today, on my day off? Nothing. Knitting a little, reading a little, sitting in the sunny window (cool thing) a little. Watching the rainbows reflect on the walls, from the cut crystal pieces I’ve received as gifts from friends over the years. I’m getting ready to go out for a walk while it’s still sunny and warm. And then for late dinner, we go to New Aladdin’s restaurant and watch a couple of the Habibi Dancers do their thing… and eat great food, and sit and talk with our friends Cynthia and Doug… more friends we’ve known for years, talked to at a zillion parties, and never once made a point of spending an evening together.

Life is short! Grab someone you have always enjoyed, someone you’ve never taken time to sit down with alone, and ask them to lunch. Or coffee, or dinner. But do it! Choose your friends! Make their day. I’ve done it before (once I called Ulyana and said “I am picking my friends and I want to get to know you better). It works wonderfully when all parties know they are actively choosing the friendship.

Do it! Pick up the phone. Spend time with someone you already love, and learn to love them more! Make a new life, choose the change. The only certainty in life is change anyway… why not take an active part in some of it?

Photos: Four garments I purchased in Kenya. All of them are embroidered with a chain embroidery machine. That means the shaping of the stitchwork is done by hand with a machine, versus a computer placing the stitches. It’s the sort of machine which has been used to embroider names on bowling shirts (now that is done with computers more often than not, but you can remember that script I’m talking about, perhaps).

1) Cotton caftan purchased in Mombasa. Tie died with embroidery. 2) Rayon full-length dress purchased in Nairobi. Tie-died with embroidery. 3) Rayon tunic purchased in Nairobi, tie-died with embroidery. 4) Cotton shirt purchased in Nairobi. Printed cotton (giraffes!) with embroidery. (Forgive the photos without a model, I decided any photo was better than waiting for an ideal one sometime in the future.)