Sunday, February 12, 2006

Dense Clouds, No Rain

It's Sunday so I want to get back to the conversation of creativity and spirituality which is part of the theme of this blog. I practice I Ching as a philosophy that focuses my spiritual meditation. One of the aspects of I Ching that is attractive to me is its foundation in taoist philosophy of yin-yang, action/non-action. In trying to be spiritually healthy, I try to strive for balance. I have a tendancy in my personality to feel as if any problem I come up against I need to act on immediately. The I Ching readings give me a perspective that shows the wisdom in waiting, contemplating, listening (especially to my inner voice), and also when to act and when not to act. The main idea is to follow the good, and disclose the workings of EGO, which sometimes acts as The Wizard of Oz and can be shown through practice as not the most important aspect of my personality (like when Toto pulled back the curtain).

Today, I asked the I Ching about my path to creativity and what the image of my path in that direction is. I received Hex 9: The Taming Power of the Small with no lines. For more information about the I Ching and how it works you can check out this website: Online Clarity. This is the second time this week I received Hex 9 without lines.

The hexagram image is a gentle wind above heaven, the creative. the judgment says: The taming power of the small has success. Dense clouds, no rain from our western region. The image description is: The wind drives across heaven: the image of the taming power of the small. Thus the superior man refines the outward aspect of his nature. (wilhelm translation: pg. 40-41)

To comprehend the meaning I refer to two more books. I use R. L. Wing's I Ching Notebook, especially when I get a hexagram with no lines. Getting no lines usually means the situation is static and will stay unchanged for a period of time. Wing says: Strength is restrained in the lower trigram of human affairs and can create only small and gentle effects. The hexagram in its unchanging form suggests that the object of your inquiry is blocked by a small yet permanent influence. Nothing can be done externally. Salvation, if it exists, lies in work on the Self. Refine your impulses and desires.

Sounds harsh, huh. Let's check another book I refer to, Carol Anthony's Guide to the I Ching. She says: One more step in the process of correcting the situation has been completed. The temptation always exist to abandon self-discipline. Particularly after small victories our inferiors (those small voices inside you that whine about not getting their way) ask: "May I relax now? When am I going to be able to enjoy myself?" Anthony interprets that not only is final victory impossible now, but ambition would exert a negative pressure.

So I sit back and think about this and I see that even though I'm excited about the prospect of getting back to painting and designing sweaters, I need to do the work to get any significant results. But the good news is, it's not a process that means you have to whip yourself, it is gentle like a cool breeze against your back that helps you to walk through the process. The key is to stay in the moment and enjoy the creative work, the first step, the first stitch, the first brush stroke. The salvation comes when I get into that zone of creativity where there is no time and the work nourishes me. I've been in that place before and I love it.

happy sunday!! sue

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Let the Games Begin!!

Well, like a cocky figure skater trying a triple lutz right out of the gate, I caught my toe at lift off and made an embarrasing sliding crash on to the ice. I prepared my swatch and my schematic to precision and then got the measurements all wrong.

Let's start from the beginning. I arrived at my local knitting shop, Knitting etc. at 6:00 (this was late into their 2:00-7:00 Olympic cast-on party). I had my eye on getting another ribbon yarn to start my sweater because the Lion Brand incredible was very stiff and I was wondering about wearability. Amy, nice shop person, showed me a cowled sleeveless sweater made in Berocco Zen and I loved it. I cast on a swatch of a shiny blue/matte grey and it was perfect. I cast on the desired stitches, met a bunch of nice people and ate scones and pineapple. I hated to leave at 7:00. So I paid more than I ever paid for yarn in my life and bought all 7 skeins of Zen in this pretty color. Here is my progress so far before the tragic exit onto the ice:

About 8:45 am EST I realized that I had the measurements all wrong on my schematic. If I continued in this way, the bust measurement would be a whopping 52 in!!!! Crash, burn, ice scrapes my face while all the world watches!! I redid my schematic and ventured on. I will go into the locker room and get bandaged up and wait for the next trial. For right now I have to pay some bills and do recycling. I will attempt my next cast-on later today.

Oh the agony of an olympian. Where's Bob McKay when you need him?


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I've Joined the Knitting Olympics!!

well, I tried to but I think I signed up too late. I'm thinking about going to the local knitting shop to cast on Friday night with other Olympians. We'll see.

Here is the pattern I've decided to take on. I have been collecting vintage Vogue Knitting magazines and I've been wanting to make this sweater for a while. It's from a 1960 Spring VK and calls for ribbon yarn.

I'm doing a swatch with Lion Brand Incredible color Blue Shades and the guage is matching perfectly. I just need to adjust the pattern for my size and I'm set to go.

I'll keep you posted on the progress.

seeya, sue

Monday, February 06, 2006

Joni's Cat is sick!

Wow, I'm really glad I decided not to go to the Joni tribute at Carnegie Hall. It turned out Joni didn't go because her cat was sick! Hope you are feeling better, kitty. Plus the joniListas at jmdl gave the show a lukewarm review so if they didn't like it, it must have really sucked!! Saved by the universe again!

Great news from my friend, Les Irvin, at the website. Since's creator Wally Breese's death in 2000, his friend Jim has been keeping the site going ... but recently he decided to turn the reins over to Les and his Joni Mitchell discussion list site (where my guitar site lives). So the jmdl site is now I thought this was so wonderful at first, but then it hit me: my guitar site is now on the OFFICIAL Joni Mitchell website. Les also gave me a new email address: HOW COOL IS THAT!!

Well if you like Joni and like to play guitar I want to give you an introduction to the way I started playing Joni. It began with the song People's Parties off the Court & Spark album. I found Howard Wright's tabulature on OLGA (the outlaw website: On-Line Guitar Archive) in open D tuning: DADF#AD I started to play and it was almost like my fairy godmother hit me on the head with her wand. It sounded wonderful. I was determined to get an archive going of just Joni's songs played as Joni plays them. If you are interested, go to the site at the new URL:

Joni Mitchell Guitar Database

Listen to an mp3 of me playing People's Parties at the 2002 Jonifest at this site. It also includes my versions of an unreleased song, Come to the Sunshine, and Jericho:

Moon Over Joni

seeya, Sue