10 January 2008

things on Thursday

Both Donna's newest post and a 2005 post from BigHappyBuddha have me thinking about Things. Literally. Things.

Amy's post is about enjoying the gifts that one gives and receives, from handmade socks to fine china. The Buddha says, "An ignorant man ages like an ox. His flesh may increase, but not his understanding."

The common thread is mindfulness, of course, and what it means to be mindful. I'm sure that many people who hoard their fine china believe that being mindful of the cups and plates means ensuring that they do not break, in the same way that Amy's husband doesn't wear his hand-knitted socks because they are "special."

This weekend, I was looking through my hoarded stashed yarns. I have finished three pairs of socks in 6 months. At that rate, even if I don't acquire another ounce of sock yarn, it might take... years... before all of the yarn is knitted up. I began to panic. Each ball of yarn was accusing me of greed and waste and hubris...

But really, each ball, each skein can teach me something. The sheep or the silkworm or the alpaca live in an ancient continuum that always has provided materials for clothing and art and always will. I chose each skein for its texture and color, and imagined myself knitting a piece of clothing, as women have knitted for millennia.

The problem isn't the stuff, it's the awareness. That's the difference between big, fat, jolly Buddha and big, fat, Jabba the Hutt, yes?

Take a deep breath, teabird, cast on, and knit...

8 comments:

nonizamboni said...

Oh wise woman with colorful socks, this really spoke to me! The mindfulness=awareness. I believe in that blessed continuum you spoke of.

Running Knitter said...

Your posts always make me think and I love it! Thank you. :)

Carrie K said...

Besides, you need a stash for the coming Yarn Famine.

KnitNana said...

You're stashing for retirement and that's your 401k(nit) account. It has to be fat...
And sassy!
I love the mindfulness reminder...I have my own when I open the sock yarn bin, and the lace yarn bin...But really it's not a question of do you have to much? It's do you have enough? And "Enough" isn't just stuff - it's an asthetic as well. As long as you are happy with the acquisition, there's nothing wrong with it.
((((hugs))))

Paula said...

I loved this post.
I will ponder it this week.
It really speaks to my inner yarn hoarder.
I also know I need to take the china out of the box and use it some day.

KSD said...

Absolutely. Knit on. And live with your yarn. You invited it --- don't abandon it now!

Donna Lee said...

Well, I agree with your post but I'm not Amy. I don't have much of a stash. I try to buy what I need and then I enjoy what I buy. My one exception is the sock yarn club. I don't NEED it but it brings me joy.

lene said...

For me, the difference between a big, fat Buddha and a big, fat Jabba is also this -- Buddha would understand the desire to acquire yarn when that desire springs from a real love and appreciation of the beauty and nature of the yarn (even if he also would counsel that you be mindful of the value of non-attachment.) Yes? Jabba, on the other hand, seems more likely to me to only really understand the desire to acquire things simply for the sake of acquiring things -- not from any real appreciation, but from a greedy and boastful nature, to show off wealth and power. Does that make any sense?

And I may be just full of crap, I admit. :) At any rate, I really enjoyed your post. Oh, and before I forget, I want to tell you how much I like the lace scarf you're working on, and love the colour!