This Sunday, I’d like to share the amazing words of artist Eso Tolson (@coolurbanhippie on Instagram). Please give him a follow and check out his prints and t-shirts. His words on Instagram on Thursday were absolutely 🎯 …
Happy “Spending time with good people if you can while eating good food and being thankful in a way that has nothing to do with pilgrims but in a way that has you to reflect on your life and what means the most to you” Day!
Brilliant and perfect, yes?
We are deep in into the Thanksgiving long weekend here in the United States, which reminds me, especially this year, how different things can be true at the same time.
I am thankful. I love the slowness of the day of Thanksgiving and how, by around noon, stores are closed and people are being cozy at home.
It’s also true that the next day—the whole next three or four days—is a frenzy of the worst kind of consumption. Buying, crowds, sales, guilt. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday … it’s hard to stay slow and small and tender.
This year, my family stayed small with the Thanksgiving holiday. No one cooked (we got a catered meal). No one traveled (like in 2020, but by choice). We were quiet and puttered around the house, all three of us doing our favorite things. I felt joy in the quietness, and I felt sad that the years of making Bigger Holidays for a Small Person were gone. I felt the joy of having (what I hope is) the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic behind us, and I felt the sadness of all that we have been through—collectively as a country and globe, in my friend circle where multiple friends lost a parent to Covid-19, in my own small family, and me. It’s been a lot. This year, it felt good and true to simply be with all of it.
More and more, I find comfort in holding the complexity in both hands. Life can be so incredibly joyful in the small moments and the Big Accomplishments. And life is also heart-breaking and painful more often than I want it to be.
Through all of this, I knit. Sometimes it’s small things—a pair of mitts to keep my hands warm on a late autumn evening walk—and sometimes it’s a Big Thing, a statement sweater that demands all of my attention and knitterly skill. Through it all, I knit.
How are you, friend, with all of it?
What I’ve been making
On occasion, I like to play with scent and pour candles.
These pretty little candles are speckled with dried flowers in the candle wax. I’m still not sure if they’re going to work as intended, but I do so enjoy trying new things and finding different ways to capture and enhance the small and beautiful moments of life. If they work, they’ll make their way to my shop.
As I increasingly speak about gentleness and small moments, I find that, every so often, someone will follow me who embraces a very different meaning than I do. It might be a toxic positivity or someone who is a gender essentialist. It’s amusing but also not (you know?) how back-to-the-land hippies can suddenly slide into trad wife content (here’s a great explanation and another awesome piece).
And so, it’s important to say often: The art I make, from my knitting to my words to my creative explorations, is about gentling for all of us—and especially for the diverse, multi-racial, genderqueer, and others at the intersections of oppression, and for the white people like me who know that we are just one group of many in a diverse and beautiful world.
Join me in a well-wish …
for joy, beauty, and the safety to bloom
for all of my and our beloved genderqueer, non-binary, and trans friends
Let us bear witness to how hard our systems and society make life for our beloved genderqueer and trans friends, and let us equally hold how much more freedom and safety and joy and beauty we want for them and for ourselves.
I say this often and feel it deep in my marrow: we are connected in our struggles. When any of us are oppressed or harmed or left out, we are all harmed. Maybe not today if you are white and cisgender like me, but eventually, we will all be harmed.
From Maya Angelou’s words to Barack Obama’s to the Black Lives Matter movement: we rise together.
If you can, take a moment to rest this long weekend.
Every Sunday I feel you are speaking directly to my heart and soul, Anne. We must be kindred spirits!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with such eloquence, courage and kindness. ❤️
I find this topic so fascinating! It started when a homeschool/back to the land blogger all of the sudden (at least to me) went alt right...wild.
You might also like the piece Meg Conley wrote over on Home Culture on a similar vein. Thanks for sharing your writing and other great writers too!