Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year

In January 2019 I wrote, "I choose wonder instead of worry." The magic of wonder certainly enhanced my thinking and writing but I did not worry less. Life happens and it isn't contained in ideas of either/or. Both/and makes more sense to me. I am a worrier and a wonderer. Perhaps my best lesson is to honor both the worry and wonder. Both are part of who I am. The wonder might be to try and hold them at the same time.

This year, I choose tender. Somewhere I heard of The Tenderness Project and became intrigued with the word "tender." This project defines tender: to care, to be sensitive, to tend, to exchange. The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word as an adjective, a verb, and a noun. The word has several origins that led to different parts of speech. What is my "tender?" What do I offer myself and others in gentle exchange? As I carry wonder into the New Year with other chosen words (understand, imagine, light), I look forward to tender. The old ones echo through my days while this new one promises possibility.

Because it is Unraveled Wednesday (thank you Kat for continuing to host), I'll post about this shawl. I finished the knitting on Christmas evening and last night I wove in the ends. Chickadee yarn from Quince is one of my favorite yarns. It isn't fancy but will be warmer than a fingering weight shawl. I knit this shawl with leftovers from two different sweaters and enjoyed making with what I had on hand. Mostly I let knitting take me where it will, just enjoying the process. This year I may try to knit one project in each of group of WIPS from scraps and/or leftovers. Now and then a limited parameter challenges my creativity.

Joy Harjo was named the U.S. poet laureate in June 2019. Since I hadn't read much of her work, I ordered one of her earlier books, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky. At the end of each prose poem, she wrote a few notes about the inspiration and her beliefs about each poem. These notes help me understand her beautiful complex writing. Themes in her poems are social justice, myths, southwest US, and jazz. Harjo was born in Oklahoma and is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. In the last few years, whoever has chosen the poet laureate has chosen well. Harjo follows Tracy K. Smith, another remarkable poet. 

The sky is bright this New Year's Day and I am determined to bundle up and take a walk. The wind is blowing in the new decade. Let's hope it is a wind carrying change. Here's to a slender thread of hope in 2020.


  1. Happy 2020! And I love the choice of "tender" for your 2020 word. I'm sure it will hold you in good stead! The shawl is lovely; the colors so delicate.
    I am reading TracyK Smith's poems and will look into our newest poet laureate.
    Here's to a great year!

  2. Tender is lovely and there are so many interpretations of the word and paths to follow. Your shawl looks wonderfully cozy and warm. The older I get, the more I find that things for me are not simply either/or. I'm also a worrier, but it is nice to be able to temper that worry with wonder at the same time.

  3. Tender is a lovely word (although I will sorely miss your wonderings!!) But I look forward to where tender takes you (and I hope your discoveries alleviate some of your worries!)

    Beautiful knitting - as always. Happy New Year to you! XO

  4. Oh what a great choice Tender is. Love that and am looking forward to your musings on it. I had not heard of Joy Harjo & am hoping my library might have a book of hers to "nourish" me (my word).

  5. Tender is a really interesting choice!

    I think you will find that you use that shawl a lot -- my heavier weight shawls are really cozy in the winter when I'm sitting in bed in the evening.

  6. What a beautiful word, Jane. I'm looking forward to seeing where it takes you this year. I so enjoyed reading your thoughts on wonder (and worry!) in 2019. Happy New Year! May it bring many blessings your way.
    PS - I LOVE Joy Harjo.

  7. your word is beautiful! I find the busier I am in my mind the less I worry. I crowd it out! I love that shawl and I think I only have one light blue shawl in my arsenal.....

  8. Glad you were able to make the beautiful shawl with leftovers. I went down a Revelry rabbit hole look at the other designer's shawls. ! Thanks That was fun. I love the gansey look to that shawl.

  9. What a beautiful word for 2020! Thank you for sharing the poetry recommendation, too. and finally, I am planning my first sweater in Chickadee this spring (a friend gifted me five skeins and I finally found a pattern) ... love that you gave it such high marks! Happy New Year!