I had big plans for plunging headlong into the writing of my next book but what I’ve been doing out here instead is I have wound a whole ton of skeins of yarn into balls. My friend Christine, whose house I'm watching, left me an entire bag of expensive yarn, including 27 skeins of fine string-like yarn in lush colors of acid green, mauve, robin’s egg blue, and I am just not going to be able to rest, apparently, until I have rolled every last one of these pesky varmints into balls (otherwise the stuff gets hopelessly tangled when you try to knit).
Though a single ball can take half an hour (and that’s if I don’t screw up, the odds of which are about 70/30), I can’t describe how satisfying I find this. You position the skein around the outside of your knees, and start spinning away like the spider in Charlotte's Web, and if you let the strands get at all slack you’re in major trouble. Yarn has a will, a brain, and if not a malevolent, at the very least a mischievous, streak. My whole life I’ve been looking to feel better, to regulate my mood, to be anesthesized, and I could just sit there indefinitely, winding, winding, especially when combined with watching, say, a Sam Fuller film. Last night I watched The Naked Kiss—that is one weird film--and Underworld U.S.A. is on tap.
I did also knit an entire…well, actually, I seem to have devised a new article of clothing. A kind of combo scarf/cape with huge flared ends, in this case of hot pink mohair with black kitten-hair fringe, that as the thing got longer and weirder, started to scare even me. Which it turns out I can however drape around my neck, back, shoulder, or just hang down in front thereby giving an insane, Whatever-Happened-to-Baby-Jane effect!
|this should come in handy during a typical 85-degree-in-the-shade afternoon...|
I'm actually quite proud of myself, my garment contains only 8 or 10 scattered mysterious holes, and while knitting, I discovered Hammer Film Productions (Gothic British black and white horror flicks from the 60's). The double feature I watched consisted of Never Take Candy from a Stranger (elderly pervert/pedophile from the town's richest family molests two young girls. It was great!) and These Are the Damned, "a socially conscious sci-fi chiller about young victims of radiation exposure" in which "a couple stumbles upon a quarantined group of mysterious children." In an undersea cave. I well remember this look (extreme closeups that make even normal people look bathed in greasy sweat and psychotic) and tone (creeping evil) from TV days in my Iron Curtain-era youth. I mean who could resist?
Part of me felt very guilty. Winding yarn, watching neo-noir movies (only at night, but still), seemed especially lax during Lent, when I always feel I should be walking on broken glass and subsisting on Ry-Krisp and tap water, but I actually sensed that those hours when my brain was lying more or less fallow was a good thing. And I’m not even kidding, I am having a true spiritual awakening.
Like I have got to join up in a whole new way, or maybe I should say all over again (this happens periodically), which is difficult and humbling. Winding that yarn, I thought about how beneath so much sad stuff in my life has been the paralyzing fear that THERE WOULD NOT BE ENOUGH…And like all fears, that’s a fear that has in some—not all, but some—ways become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’ve done a lot of work in this area and yet I also still have many “old ideas,” as we say in my circle, that do nothing but separate me from the herd from which, under the best of circumstances, I already feel separated enough. I will not go into a long self-absorbed rant but suffice it to say my way is clear for the immediate future. I have all kinds of actions I can take, but gently, patiently, slowly, and already I have taken a lot of them out here.
One of them is I’ve decided to attend that humongous Religious Ed. Congress in
next week and mingle with the folks! Hell, yeah! Publishers, acquisitions editors, friends, fans…if you’re gonna be there, too, let’s hook up... Anaheim
|PALM SPRINGS TWILIGHT|