This part of my life feels like a long and slow transition. I know that in a couple of years, I am planning to move back to the country. I’m going to give up the job and and live a simpler, more contemplative life. I can see a few friends shaking their heads and wondering how. I already live a life that most people think is simple and contemplative, but I am in a location that is losing its appeal as each day goes by. I am tired of roads clogged with cars and more tired of being surrounded by heedless people rushing so much to the next thing that they never experience the present moment.
Where I see the transition happening most is in the things I own, especially clothing and household goods. I don’t want to buy anything unless it will serve a dual purpose, for now and then, for here and there. I want to gradually use up all that no longer serves me, and not replace it with more of the same. I want to step out of this current way of living, leaving behind a pile of worn out black clothing, like the cocoon of some strange moth. I want to wear wrinkly linen dusters in spring and baggy woolen tunics in winter.
I do not want to arrive then and there, half naked and shivering. I need clothing for the journey and for the arrival, things that will be gently worn but not worn out.
I feel like I need to set out with a trunk filled with clothing and dish towels, cushion covers and blankets–all home made. Much hand spun. LIke a bride setting out into her marriage, with her dowry chest. Only I will be a mature woman journeying into the rest of my life, with my trunk packed full of slow cloth.
This is the awakening that Dreaming Myself Awake represents.
I think I know why I am not just going to leave tomorrow. I still have many things to learn. It’s a well-kept secret that I don’t really know how to cook. I know how to heat up lots of things and make them taste original and exciting, but I only know how to make a few things from scratch. I make a wicked good pasta bake, but I don’t know how to make a tomato sauce that tastes like the one in the jar. I may find time to learn how to make slow food, but the weaving comes first.
I don’t know how to weave dish towels either, or how to select the right yarn for them. I am not sure I want to spin cotton or linen, but I need to understand the yarn and how it weaves.
Can I keep myself in hand-knit socks, or will they wear out before the next pairs are done?
Questions are good, because they lead to answers. Transitions are good, because I will arrive slowly and gently at where I want to be, step by mindful step.