First Things First

Knit One Purl Two: Or A New (York) Year

image from www.jburdimages.com

I haven't blogged in over two months. A lot can happen in a month or two.

A lot can happen in thirteen years.  Or forty-one..!

Let's recap.

I have come to the conclusion that, if I were a knitter - which I am not, giving up smoking is something akin to UN-knitting a sweater.  Or a whole jump-suit.  A whole city even.  Or worldview.  You take a drag of smoke into your lungs and it curls around your surroundings and the experience, tying all of it together into a compelling yet carcinogenic narritive; knit one purl two.  Part of my writing goal this year will be as a kind of UN-knitting - an 'un-curling' of what no longer belongs and then incorporating some precious parts into new contexts.  Did your grandmother ever knit you a jump-suit?  Neither did mine.  Not literally anyway.  My mother gave me a pattern for pajamas and a 'J' shaped pillow when I was nine.  Still waiting for that one to materialize.  Then there was the quilt made from my father's old clothes.  I'm happy to skip both of these.  The sentiment was enough of a gift in those cases.  What would I do with a quilt made from my father's old clothes, anyway?  There's something slightly Silence Of The Lambs creepy about that idea; but that’s my nasty brain speaking and lots of people do it.  If I were ever actually presented with such a quilt, I would cherish it.  What’s more I would NOT put it in a cedar chest to look at like some museum piece to be preserved and only observed.  I would wear it out until it was well-loved to tatters.  This IS what we should do with the gifts we are given.  Don’t hide them away.  Use them up and wear them out, baby!

Anyway, last time on Merrell Street I was reporting on the death of M, the Dame Judi character from the Bond films.  What I have yet to write is that not so very long after that I boarded a Mega Bus for Washington DC to spend my Thanksgiving weekend with my friends, the Stipe Family.  After that, it was off to the Rockaways and the promise of Foo-Foo.  I know that makes no sense, but it will.  There was a crazy cab ride to church one Saturday when I was late for a very important meeting… Then the Christmas Eve Eucharist at St. John’s with Ariel and Steve… New Years with the Wilcox Family and friends… The flu...  Some Busking on the 1-Train platform… a surprise meeting with - that's right, two of my all-time favorites - Ariel and Steve at Lincoln Center… Ibrahim’s birthday party… My sister's wedding yet even after that.  And then Sweden and the Ice Hotel rich with visions, moose meat, and palliative snow.  Phew!  All of that in TWO months.

This is a LOT to report on and life keeps happening non-stop.  I'll continue to post as it does and I think Merrell Street will be THE place to get it all - past, present, future.  I started a travel blog – TravelSalt.com – a couple of years ago and have seriously neglected it.  I was thinking of posting about Sweden there and ‘rebooting’ that venture.  But what can I say that isn’t about MY experience of it? To me, the better approach is to migrate the few articles I’ve written on Travel Salt to Merrell Street and make THIS the PLACE for all things Jason, be it travel-tales, fiction, ditties and rants, memoir and magic, or just some good old complaining and gossip – though I don’t really ‘gossip’ these days – everything I say here or to others, I’ll say right to your face.  It’s a policy I’ve adopted, which works quite well.

Clearly all of this will take more than one post to get through and the ones related to travel will, indeed, also be posted on Travel Salt.  But the context and the texture and impetus of how it all materializes will be sounded from here on MY street.

Knit one, purl two.  A-knitting and A-quilting I will go - remembering, hoping, scheming, dreaming and peopling this world of mine.

Let life continue - sweet, bitter, boring, ridiculous, and oh so richly surprising.  What I can say with no reservations is that it really is the PEOPLE I’ve met along the way who mean everything.  Otherwise it's all just a bunch of statues and empty rooms.

Stay tuned.

image from www.jburdimages.com