Friday, March 23, 2012

Heart Vines Hat: February 8th to 9th.

A cotton based yarn combined with a circular needle means this project keeps slippery-sliding straight out of my hands.

When I moved to Australia, and after I got over the odd nasal memories of vomited Prima orange juice and incinerators that reminded me of burning chocolate (hard to explain), my memories became associated with hills. Our first house was in hilly Templestowe. We navigated our sloping driveway on roller skates. There would be the slow start through the sidewalk area, the rapid escalation, and then either the sudden wrist-wrenching stop if you chose the turn into the garage followed by the 'applying the brakes' technique more commonly known as hitting the back wall at high speed, or, the shin-bending brake application inherent with skates leaving a smooth surface and running onto the traction of grass.

Our other hill experience involved the cotton-like slipperiness (see, hills do relate to slippery knitting) of the Slip-'n'-Slide. Do children of the Stage Three Water Restriction era know this muddy joy? Or are you only permitted to do it on even numbered days and using a bucket of bore water? Even my dad would send himself careening towards the end of the plastic corridor and into the rapidly developing bog at the end. It' a shame we get so precious (sorry to talk for all of us, you may not be precious at all) that we start to not like being in the mud at the end. I'd feel the need for some type of water shoe. I'd feel that it was making a mess of the grass, disrupting some sort of a cosmic order. I'd feel it would be better to do this sort of thing at a theme park on the Gold Coast. Or maybe I wouldn't—it's hard to compare with a backyard that is flat, made of concrete and not actually long enough to accommodate a slip-and-slide. Perhaps it's just envy talking because I can't slip and slide anymore. I was, after all, fully prepared (except in a physically fit way) to throw myself into numerous gluggy pools of muck at Tough Mudder.

Turns out the only slimy mud I'm getting now is the slippery mud coloured knitting experience that is this project. The wool is Bella Baby 'Layette', eighty percent bamboo and twenty wool, in a beautiful mud colour that you would find, similarily textured, in only the finest of day spas on islands between Tropics Cancer and Capricorn. This won't, however, and hopefully, be all cracked and peeling like a facial treatment by the time it is eventually completed. It is, as so many are, a work-in-progress.

I dislike that Osho makes sense. Grrr! I want to be independent. It took me twenty-seven years* to get onto Social Media. (I lie, I joined the other one, MySpace, when it first came out because that way I didn't have to talk to anyone—yes, it does make an illogical kind of sense, and, no, I love talking to you now, I just have a residual fear of social interaction). Osho's prattling on about the centre again. The true centre is the naval. You are born with it (a centre, not a naval, although we mostly have one of those too). Babies and children breathe and their tummies go up and down: they're breathing through their centre. As we grow up we displace to this centre to one or two 'false' centres: the heart and the head. This last is the one that is often deemed the most important. It can be the only fully developed one—we don't really love in its truest and purest form. The head specialises in knowing, the heart in feeling and the naval in being. Okay, well and good, I can see the attraction of 'being', of the experiential life lived instead of the theoretical, thinking life, but the issue is that 'being', for Osho, means being one with something, part of the Universe. The Universe is a way lot bigger than my Facebook page. I am not sure I am ready for being at one with everything and everyone in the whole Universe. That said, this project's technique is focused on focusing on your centre.

Is this a fallacy? Osho says that only one in one hundred people dream in colour. Do you dream in colour? I dream in colour. I don't think that I am one in a hundred. Although, it is funny how often that clause is bandied about. Whenever I get a job they tell us that we are one in a 'blah' to be lucky enough to be chosen to do this special work. Me thinks—CON! You're just going to work better if you think you are unique. Am I cycnical? But to the point in play: the meditation this project works only for those one-in-a-hundred who can imagine colour. Except, of course, there is a way to do it if you aren't unique. See what you think.

Imagine the world is made up of five colours and the five colours are your senses. They meet at a point (imagine it as your naval for the sake of close access to your centre). If you keep imagining and concentrating on this spot it will disappear because your concentration dissolves the imaginary. Imagining the world as colour means when the imagination goes, the world goes. You will then be at your centre because everything between it and you has disappeared. If you are not a colour-sensitive then you can concentrate instead on a point outside the body, a point on the wall or something similar. You do have to concentrate on it without ever blinking** as blinking kicks the mind into action and the aim of this is to stop the mind. Stopping the mind provides the same break between the world and the centre. The centre is in you, in every single one of you, without exception, allegedly. You need to just find your way back to it. And when you get there it will be bliss eternal. You will be so blissful you won't even know you're blissful—you will be bliss. I'll give Osho some credit for playing with language. I like it when verbs become nouns and nouns become adjectives, and on it plays. Hey, I'm having trouble being non-cynical, let me get a compliment in once in a while!

*Librans are known to exaggerate. Quoted figures may be smaller than they appear.

** Images that follow may disturb some readers; rated fifeteen plus and not for the queasy. Osho inserts a wacky story here regarding Bodhi's eyelids—the Bodhi of mythology, not the Bodhi of 4 P—— St. Bodhi ripped his eyelids off to stop himself blinking. He threw them to the ground and they grew into a plant: tea. Tea now is a drink that (if you don't build an immunity to it by drinking too much) keeps your eyelids open. I'm going to make myself a cup of Bodhi's eyelids.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Give You My Heart: February 6th to 7th.

Whhhhhyyy!! This is the third most bizarre item to make in this whole calender. A stuffed heart. I am not sure the creator realised I would be calling it that rather than a 'plush heart'. It feels like a dark project. Mainly because I decided to make it a black stuffed heart. Before you go off trying to organise intervention and a counsellor, or just go off, I was thinking of making it more festive with some lovely large black sequins. Nice? Yeah, nice.

The wool is Moda Vera Bamboo Cotton (viscose derived from bamboo mixed with a thirdish cotton). Quite odd this wool from bamboo concept. Hopefully it has stopped growing. Would hate to fall asleep on my heart and end up with it growing through my body. (Have you heard what bamboo can grow through—it leaves weeds through concrete in shame). I love knitting with cotton—and viscose derived from bamboo. It makes a crisp, well defined stitch. It is so crisp it appears to be on the other side of itself. I can't explain that but look at a knitted cotton piece and you'll see what I mean. It's an Escher tiled floor kind of a thing.

My knit-ability was severly hampered this project by having to concentrate at work. Travesty. I don't know how I will ever go out into the real world again. (And not just because I now feel I know too much about the real world). Working in a job where the majority of the day requires you to put your knitting down seems like a waste of a day. Did I ever tell you I once applied to be a pattern writer for a wool company. There is a small, stitchy part of me that wishes I had not been so caught up in the travel industry when they called me back a year or so later to see if I was still interested. I wonder what my life would be like now if I had taken the job—I probably wouldn't choose to make a knitted item every few days for a year as my project of the year! I'd probably want to talk to people on the phone instead.

Despite work getting in the way of what is really important, the heart was finished (in a knitting sense at least). My BFF wore it on her sleeve to a Valentine's Day event. (Time doesn't work sensibly in this blog as you may have noticed—I do this to remind you of its arbitrariness, not because I am way behind). I ditched the sequin idea though, and so have a macarbe little bit of embroidery to do to completely finish it—but it's not far off.

Speaking of hearts, you know how, in all the cops-and-forensic-scientist shows (the robbers don't seem to matter so much anymore—they're just the end product of the scientific process), they weigh all the organs in the hanging scales? Well, apparently, studies have been done about the weight of the human body before and after death to scientifically determine the weight, and hence the existence, of the 'soul'. The soul is essentially what Osho seems to be talking about when he speaks about the 'centre', the self, the essential 'you'-ness. Isn't it twenty-one grams? Maybe the movie just wouldn't have made sense if it was called Indiscernable Weight. Osho seems more inclined to believe it is weightless. His technique this week is to become weightless. You got it. I heard the one adding to the other one in your mind: two. If you can feel weightless then, effectively, you feel your soul, your centre—you dispense of the unnecessary body and mind and are left with only 'you'. The body and its mind are the little things, the you is the big powerful thing—that's why we are so eager to find it.

This week Osho adds a helpful tip. Meditate on being weightless in the siddhasana position (the slightly easier version of the lotus where the first foot is brought to the groin and the second placed on top with the toes tucked into the fold between thigh and calf). This way, if you do it properly, you have less contact with the weight-based earth and with gravity, and so you can more easily become weightless. Next time I am on a diet-fixation this is how I will weigh-in. I wonder if it will work. I think Osho would think I am perpetuating illusions that stop me from becoming awakened.