Sunday, April 13, 2008

Remember to breathe (and soften)

An hour or so after writing that last post, I caught up with a mate and listened to his problems. I can't go into them, but think of a marriage breaking up, include all the work and childcare commitments involved, then invert the usual male/female dynamic and you have his life at the moment. And he's coping really well with it. It gave me time to sit and think about something else for a while, feel something positive like sympathy and empathy, and by the time I rode over to the dinner party I was feeling almost calm again, or at least less obviously angry than I had been earlier.

It was quite a jolly dinner; the food was fabulous, thanks to BB, and one guest had brought her 12yo daughter who entertained us all with amazing, skillful and absolutely straight-faced card tricks. I wish I'd have that much self-possession at her age. I quelled the residual anger with LOTS of wine, and spent the night in a fitful, drunken sleep, waking with a dry mouth and sore jawbones from a mega-grinding night.

So today I have been breathing. My mantra is from my yoga class: soften. Every time I feel my jaw clenching, I say 'soften' in my head and it all drops loose. I don't think it enough, but it's helpful.

Here's some nice pictures:

golden leaves
The trees in my yard (I really can't say it's a garden anymore) are turning glorious colours. Aren't they clever?

autumn red
The ant seems to be enjoying itself.

skull bracelet
This afternoon I went to a four-year-old's birthday party and ate lots of chocolate crackles washed down with a hairy dog champers. I came away with a pirate skull tattoo bracelet, which delights me no end.

sewing press
This one is for Colonel and Lady Duck, who bought me this bookbinder's sewing press when they were in New Zealand a couple of years ago. For a long time my family made jokes that it was another of my dust-catchers. But! See! It works! I'm using it! I can sew eight bookblocks at one sitting! And you get lovely photos like these:



uncut tapes

This last one is what the books look like when you take the sewn pile off the press. The next step is to separate the individual book blocks out and cut them apart, hoping that you haven't vagued out during the day and sewn them to each other.

Anyhoo. I hope that softened your jaws a bit as well... hoo roo.


genevieve said...

All right! What beautiful pictures, jaws all loosened up nicely with delight, thank you.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

a) those trees are delicious. I now have three deciduous in the garden but they go crackly and dry around the edges when they change so they never look at beautiful as this. I presume it's a temperature thing.

b) oooh your tatt rawks!

c) your press is very lustable. also loving the colours of the wood and the paper. I miss printing.

Elsewhere007 said...

Honestly, nothing will get my jaws to unclamp I suspect it's something to do with computer work. I'm glad to hear that someone else has the same problem, along with hair dye staining the grouting.

Tell me if the 'soften' mantra works. (Yoga has gone into a school holiday recess here, too.)

Ampersand Duck said...

Well, it works better than 'smile', which I think is a very cruel thing to say to someone in the middle of a yoga pose :)

Speedy, I think it is one of those lucky things that happens if the changing of the season has gone through all the right stages. Last year we'd had the freak hail storm through the middle of Canberra, which had torn all the leaves off the trees, which then tried to bud again to replace the leaves, and then Autumn was all wrong and weird.

Stephanie Trigg said...

Love the photo where the text recedes mysteriously over the horizon. The bindings look like a cross between a corset and a sushi mat. But the text looks like a princess sleeping on thirty mattresses.

fifi said...

Yes, I was going to comment on the princess and the pea-like quality of that press.

I hope your ears were burning just now, I have been cooing and stroking the cover of The Lost Dog and showing it off to friends. They all loved it too.

Clever you!