Not too much knitting has been going on here lately. The temp job is taking a good bit of time, and I can even do some of it at home. Sort of a mixed blessing, I guess -- can't just leave the work at work when you can take it home with you. Fortunately, the stuff done at home is pretty easy. I've also been having some annoying eye problems lately. I need to hie myself to an opthamologist. Getting older is NOT for the faint of heart.
Anyway, a couple of neat things came across the screen this morning. Did you see this?
I hear the puzzlement. What's flintknapping, you ask? It's making your own stone arrowheads, axes and spearpoints. In the places I've seen it, it's very much a manly art. I like this line fromt the Wikipedia article:
"In cultures that have not adopted metalworking technologies, the production of stone tools by flintknappers is common, but in modern cultures the making of such tools is the domain of experiemental archaeologists and hobbyists." [emphasis added]
Experimental archaeologists -- how cool is that?!?
I know that at one time I was the only woman on the mailing list for folks in Georgia who were interested in flintknapping. I have a set of tools, and some rock, but I pretty much suck at it. I got interested in flintknapping about the same time I got interested in primitive archery. Then I messed up my shoulder pulling too heavy a bow too soon, and gave it up.
There's a pretty big overlap between the flintknapping crowd and the atlatl throwing crowd. (I have atlatls too.) They're pretty neat people, though definitely not mainstream.
All day long I have been working, Now I am tired. I call: “Where are you?” But there is only the oak tree rustling in the wind. The house is very quiet, The sun shines in on your books, On your scissors and thimble just put down, But you are not there. Suddenly I am lonely: Where are you? I go about searching.
Then I see you, Standing under a spire of pale blue larkspur, With a basket of roses on your arm. You are cool, like silver, And you smile. I think the Canterbury bells are playing little tunes.
You tell me that the peonies need spraying, That the columbines have overrun all bounds, That the pyrus japonica should be cut back and rounded. You tell me these things. But I look at you, heart of silver, White heart-flame of polished silver, Burning beneath the blue steeples of the larkspur, And I long to kneel instantly at your feet, While all about us peal the loud, sweet Te Deums of the Canterbury bells.
It’s all I have to bring today – This, and my heart beside – This, and my heart, and all the fields – And all the meadows wide – Be sure you count – should I forget Some one the sum could tell – This, and my heart, and all the Bees Which in the Clover dwell.
This is a poem I had to memorize when I was a child. Its sentiment is a little hackneyed today, and I confess I've used the first two lines kind of ironically more than once. But sometimes simple, encouraging sentiment is just what we need to hear.
Here's a poem best suited to reading aloud. You can hear the bass drum booming in the first part of the first stanza.
General William Booth was the founder of the Salvation Army. Imagine the old Salvation Army bands, with horns and drums and concertinas, calling in the poor of the world to be saved. Then imagine the General going on to receive his reward in heaven. I normally like short poems, little vignettes. (I have a short attention span.) But this one rewards a full reading.
[To be sung to the tune of `The Blood of the Lamb' with indicated instrument]
[Bass drum beaten loudly.] Booth led boldly with his big bass drum -- (Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?) The Saints smiled gravely and they said: "He's come." (Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?) Walking lepers followed, rank on rank, Lurching bravoes from the ditches dank, Drabs from the alleyways and drug fiends pale -- Minds still passion-ridden, soul-powers frail: -- Vermin-eaten saints with mouldy breath, Unwashed legions with the ways of Death -- (Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)
[Banjos.] Every slum had sent its half-a-score The round world over. (Booth had groaned for more.) Every banner that the wide world flies Bloomed with glory and transcendent dyes. Big-voiced lasses made their banjos bang, Tranced, fanatical they shrieked and sang: -- "Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?" Hallelujah! It was queer to see Bull-necked convicts with that land make free. Loons with trumpets blowed a blare, blare, blare On, on upward thro' the golden air! (Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)
[Bass drum slower and softer.] Booth died blind and still by Faith he trod, Eyes still dazzled by the ways of God. Booth led boldly, and he looked the chief Eagle countenance in sharp relief, Beard a-flying, air of high command Unabated in that holy land.
[Sweet flute music.] Jesus came from out the court-house door, Stretched his hands above the passing poor. Booth saw not, but led his queer ones there Round and round the mighty court-house square. Yet in an instant all that blear review Marched on spotless, clad in raiment new. The lame were straightened, withered limbs uncurled And blind eyes opened on a new, sweet world.
[Bass drum louder.] Drabs and vixens in a flash made whole! Gone was the weasel-head, the snout, the jowl! Sages and sibyls now, and athletes clean, Rulers of empires, and of forests green!
[Grand chorus of all instruments. Tambourines to the foreground.] The hosts were sandalled, and their wings were fire! (Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?) But their noise played havoc with the angel-choir. (Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?) O, shout Salvation! It was good to see Kings and Princes by the Lamb set free. The banjos rattled and the tambourines Jing-jing-jingled in the hands of Queens.
[Reverently sung, no instruments.] And when Booth halted by the curb for prayer He saw his Master thro' the flag-filled air. Christ came gently with a robe and crown For Booth the soldier, while the throng knelt down. He saw King Jesus. They were face to face, And he knelt a-weeping in that holy place. Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
This little bowl is like a mossy pool In a Spring wood, where dogtooth violets grow Nodding in chequered sunshine of the trees; A quiet place, still, with the sound of birds, Where, though unseen, is heard the endless song And murmur of the never resting sea. 'T was winter, Roger, when you made this cup, But coming Spring guided your eager hand And round the edge you fashioned young green leaves, A proper chalice made to hold the shy And little flowers of the woods. And here They will forget their sad uprooting, lost In pleasure that this circle of bright leaves Should be their setting; once more they will dream They hear winds wandering through lofty trees And see the sun smiling between the leaves.