Posted in "Daily" pages

New city, new year.

January 4, 2010 - 9:01 pm

I have never understood people who don’t like being outdoors in the northwest winter. The colors of the world are so vivid when it’s damp, and the diffuse light of our January days is perfect for looking at the world.  *This* is the north light that artists crave.

I especially love days like this one, when the rain comes in a heavy mist that beads up on every surface.  Each twig is covered with drops that can’t exactly sparkle in the soft light, but still manage to look like fairy jewels. The artists who wraps trees in strands of led’s for the holidays are going for this effect. Here in Seattle we get it for free on most days, if we take time to notice.

Seattleites are fearfully asking me how I’m tolerating the weather, and outsiders ask the same question with distaste and pity. I’m telling them all my truth– the weather suits me. I like cool and damp; I truly do. I’ve been joking I don’t eat fungus because it would be cannibalism. My hair is pleasantly wavy in it’s rough, tussled sort of way. I’m happy to be outdoors almost every day, feeling neither too cold nor too hot.

It’s a new year, and I’m in a new place. I begrudge the circumstances of my move, but I am determined to make a happy life here. Seattle is going out of her way to help me. Just as I’ve embraced the weather and find it suits me, I am finding more new activities to try than hours in the day. Of course I will garden and knit, but I also want to work with the plant salvage folks, and I’ve now found the Center for Wooden Boats. Oh! and let me not forget the steampunk folks, or the board gamers. Folks in all of these communities are warm and welcoming.

I was afraid, when I moved, that I would be alone in February when the drearies really settle in and take hold of me, and it would be hard for me to get through until spring got rolling. That fear dissipated some time in November, and hasn’t returned. I am finding it almost too easy to make connections, and I’m finding that the people I choose have already chosen each other.  The community I am building for myself from these groups is already interwoven. I am running into the same faces, and they are becoming friends who invite me to do things. I feel at home here.

Today Zack is back with his father after a week with me. I saw him briefly to drop off a forgotten item at the end of his school day, but had to walk away from him and let him leave with his stepmother. It makes me sad to be building a life that he’s only occasionally a part of, but it is what I must do now.

Instead of going home, I headed to Little Knits, where everyone knows me. I stopped in the back and chatted with Fulay briefly– she was on her way out. And then I had a predictable falling down. I bought a little skein of sock yarn that Z gravitated to the last time we were in the store. He would rather I knit him Pokemon plushies, (or other cartoon characters– his latest request was for Catbus) but I get pleasure from knitting him socks.  I like thinking about them warming his feet when he’s not with me, as is so often the case these days, but I also love the way his face lights up when I present him a new toy. I’m trying to balance the two, and also knit for myself and for other special friends.

I am not buying much since I got to Seattle that isn’t a necessity, but I’m not upset with myself about the yarn; not in the slightest. I know it will be used, and if my worst habit is a $15 skein of yarn once or twice a month, I’m doing pretty damned well. I really don’t have many discretionary expenses.  No designer beverages, minimal clothes, no going out to eat. I’m cooking for myself and Z when he’s here, and mostly making do with what I have. It’s as effortless to not spend money as my diet has become; it’s a new habit that feels comfortable and right. I am spending more on entertainment, especially movies with Zack. Again, that feels right.

In the spirit of the new year and cultivating new habits and a new life, I have decided to write public daily pages. I want to write, and to be read. Many of you know this is an act of bravery for me, and my writing will be necessarily constrained, but I can still write. It’s important to me to use my voice and be heard. I want that back. As I discovered on my birthday, I deserve it.   I’m going to make it happen for myself; just watch me.

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The Undersigned

January 5, 2010 9:01 pm

I’m glad that you’re finding community here. *smile* I know that I found it much easier to find community here than in Minneapolis, and that’s one of the big things I like about Seattle vs. Minneapolis.


January 7, 2010 9:01 pm

Of all the things you shared here, about your city, your budget, your new life, the thing I relate to most is starting a new parenting plan and handing over your child to a step-parent. I’ve been doing this for nine years, and it is understandably a piece of cake these days. Yet I remember in the beginning, my tears would come easily as I would unpack my baby’s lunchbox from pre-school, and loathe the woman’s tupperware. Those sad feelings are too easily remembered, and too vividly. It gets better.

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