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The Most Expensive Afghan Ever

I'm already about 1/3 done with The Most Expensive Afghan Ever, and I've only been working on it for 11 days. Here are some photos of where I am in the project as of this morning:

afghan-in-progress2
afghan-in-progress1

Note: Yarns are 100% superwash merino wool from Baah, Sonoma weight in Brazilian Emerald, Blue Iris, and Grape Vine (all purchased at Cakes and Purls in downtown Berkeley).

I'm doing stripes always in a green-blue-purple-blue-green-blue-purple order, but varying the widths in ways that make sense to me but probably not to anyone else. *shrug* I like to crochet wherever the wind blows when I'm doing this kind of project.

Right now (at the top in the photos), I'm working on another thick green stripe (like at the bottom in these photos). Then there will be another thick blue stripe. Then maybe thin purple, thin blue, thin green, thick blue, and thick purple. *shrug* Something like that. And that might take me to the end. I'll see when the yarn runs out. And I might change my mind about the widths of the stripes as I go. It's a headache-distraction relaxation project, not a plan-it-all-rigidly project.

Possible visit to Green Gulch Farm

I'm feeling particularly rotten today, worse than I have in some time. Just utter utter exhaustion and moderate but constant nausea. I have all these things I feel like I should be doing, but I've mostly just been lying on the couch feeling cruddy.

I'm thinking about going up to stay at Green Gulch Farm for a couple nights sometime soon, just to try to briefly escape all the things that are stressing me out. A sort of temporary refuge. Maybe take some art supplies, some Thich Nhat Hanh on audio, and just try to avoid thinking about my kidneys or my central nervous system for 48 hours or so. I'll still have to deal with how I'm feeling physically, of course, and I'd have to pack plenty of candied ginger and clothes that don't bind at the waist, but it might help with my emotional well-being … and that, in turn, might make the physical health worries easier to deal with. An effort to replenish my energy stores.

I've stayed at Green Gulch a few times before, and it's a wonderfully quiet, sheltered, peaceful, beautiful place, with extensive flower and vegetable gardens and an easy walk to the ocean. There are dharma talks on some evenings. They also have a beutiful zendo, where I could give meditation a try, after a long time away from the practice.

I'd have to wait until an acceptable neurology appointment had been made, of course, and keep my other scheduled doctor appointments, but once I have an appointment with a neurologist, I'll mostly just be sitting around and waiting to find out what's up with my body. Stressful. If some of it could be spent doing something that reduces that stress, then it sounds like a good idea.

So I'm thinking sometime in the next couple weeks I'll go up to Green Gulch. I have to find out when they have availability in their guest house, of course, and I'll have to figure out how to get up there & back, but it's only actually about 28 miles away. They have a ride share board, so I may be able to get a ride that way, or -- if not -- I'll see if I can persuade a friend to drive me up there. It's possible to get there on public transit in a pinch, which is how I've done it before, but that takes hours and involves a lot of transferring between different transit systems, which sounds very much not worth it right now.

Well, first I have to work out this neurology appointment, then I can check out the room availability at Green Gulch, then I can figure out how to get there & back. In the meantime, I'm eating candied ginger, feeling sorry for myself, and checking my email every 10 minutes or so to see if my doctor has any news about the neurology appointment.

Being in the present moment

Reading mousme's latest journal entry this morning, I got to thinking about the fact that I've been having trouble being truly present in my life lately. I find, for example, that I frequently look at the clock during yoga, wondering how long until the class will end. I enjoy yoga! Why do I focus on the future instead of enjoying the present?

I think this is also why I have been having so much trouble with meditation/guided relaxation for the past several months. I try to quiet my mind, but my thoughts will not stop.

I'm not sure what to do about this. My primary thought is to continue to exercise, because when I am lifting weights or doing tai chi I am completely focused on what is happening in the present moment. In yoga and aerobics, I often look at the clock, so they aren't quite the same -- I don't really become entirely absorbed. (Unfortunately, it looks like the beginning tai chi class isn't going to happen, and the intermediate class I was willing to try is still on Tuesdays, when I have my Dreamweaver class.)

I thought about meditation, but I've had so little luck with quieting my mind lately that it seems like a goal to work toward, rather than a way to work on the problem.

I also thought about reading some more Thich Nhat Hanh, which has helped me in the past. I haven't been reading much lately, but maybe it's time to give him a try.

Perhaps it might also help to do what they teach in meditation: notice that your mind has strayed and gently bring it back to the present moment. So when I notice a desire to look at the clock, just gently bring myself back to what is happening in the room. I will try that today.

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