I’m being very quiet these days, because I’m exhausted.

I remember this. It’s what the beginning of fibro felt like. The kind of zoning out, the physical exhaustion, the inability to hold a thought in my head past a certain period of time. I’m irritable as a result of all of this. I have a constant low-grade headache, and my body is starting to hurt again. I’m not sure how to relax, because a lot of my time is just spent sitting there, trying to interact with my children or fold laundry, and not getting very far. I’ve forgotten how to enjoy myself again, because it’s kind of a weary triumph when I just get through doing the regular stuff. I wonder if I need to try to start the “yay me I accomplished these things today” posts again. It would serve to get me journaling more often, and to show me that I am accomplishing things, even when it doesn’t feel like it. I need to consciously start implementing my fibro-coping mechanisms again, starting with my expectations and limits for my daily activity.

I’ve had time off from work, thank goodness. After a crazy few months, I’ve had a couple of weeks of evenings and naps to myself, and I’m so grateful. I don’t know how I’d handle it otherwise.

I’m reading a bit every day, which is nice. I’m almost finished Guy Gavriel Kay’s new River of Stars, and as usual, I don’t know how I feel about it. Kay has vaguely frustrated me a bit over the past few books for reasons I can’t pinpoint, and every time I read one I decide it will be my last… then every time I read an excerpt of the next one and the poetic prose just sucks me in. I disliked the Sarantine Mosaic duology when it came out, but now I think it’s my favourite of all his works. Funny how one’s opinions change.

I’m sending a box of handmade projects to a swap partner from my mums’ group today, and working on that has been lovely. I can’t say any more than that until she’s received it, but I pushed some of my boundaries and skills making the items, and explored new techniques, and I’m pleased with it. Even with the last-minute wibbling about one project, redoing it, and deciding in the end to send the first version after all.

I finally got around to making an appointment to drop in at the local spinning and weaving studio that’s been open for over two years, and it was glorious. Oh my goodness, I will never have to shop online again! There were shelves and shelves of silks, cottons, flax, wools of all sorts, and luxury fibres like yak, camel, and alpaca, which I’d never touched on their own, only as blends. She has two full-size floor looms set up, six wheels, and lots of swifts and rigid heddle looms and carders all over the place. There were cones and cones of cones of weaving yarn, dyes, spindles… I wanted to move in. I could have easily spent so much more than I did. She was so patient with Owlet, too, who wanted to touch all the things. Especially the packets of ginned and dyed cotton that she kept picking up and squishing, saying “skish, skish,” and the huge skeins of handspun she picked up and cuddled, saying “soft, soft.”

We actually had to go two days in a row, because I’d forgotten to take money out of the bank to pay for my order the first day, so we went back. Owlet stopped at every dandelion plant along the sidewalk and yanked off the flower tops, then gave them all to the woman who runs the studio. And she told me she hosts a spin-in once a month on a Sunday, and invited me! Unfortunately, the next one isn on a group cello class day, so I’ll have to wait for the next one.

Owlet is great, Sparky is great (he has a school concert tomorrow afternoon, and I hope everything works out; HRH’s parents are coming to stay with Owlet so I can attend, and then I think there should be a Mama-Sparky treat afterward), I have a new-to-me spinning upright wheel that was a crazy good deal (thank you, enormous tax refund allowing me to give myself a little treat amid paying debts) and HRH has a new-to-him iPhone that we’re trying to set up (ditto the treat, but grr, technology and things not talking to other things). We are a single-cat household for the first time in… well, ever, actually, since I had to take Cricket in to the vet to be euthanised two weeks ago. She’d stopped eating and drinking, and you could almost see through her; it was just time.

That’s about it. Trudging along.

8 thoughts on “Quiet

  1. Sian

    I noticed Kay’s new one in my local independent bookstore yesterday, and sheepishly realized I’m a few books behind. I often buy them in hardcover, because I’m so eager to read them, and then they are too heavy to fit in my purse, and so languish on my ‘to read’ shelf. I’m still trying to get to Ysabel. I find it interesting that you like the Sarantine Mosaic the best. That’s the one referred to in my set as ‘Byzantine Butchery and Buggery’. I understand the importance of the sexual violence to the plot, but as a rape survivor, found it a little too graphic for my taste. My favourite is The Lions of Al-Rasan, because I think it does a better job of illustrating the way that power corrupts than any other non-fiction I’ve read. I remember being impressed by the Fionavarr Tapestry as a teenager because he killed a major character and left them dead, which didn’t often happen in fantasy in the late 1970s and early 1980s. And, of course, I’ve heard Tigana referred to as the ‘ultimate Canadian novel’, dealing, as it does, with the theme of the erasure of identity…

  2. Autumn Post author

    I read Ysabel when it came out, and haven’t been able to complete a reread since. It just doesn’t stand up to his other works. Tigana made a huge impression on me when I read it, as did the Fionavar Tapestry when I read it in high school, and I love Lions and Arbonne. I recently read a good op ed piece about the theme of exile in his works, and it made a lot of sense. The metanarration in his later works can really click for me or annoy me, though, and it was what I liked most about River. I’m not sure what that says about the novel, or about me!

  3. Carol

    Thanks for mentioning Guy Gavriel Kay. I don’t remember him being mentioned in book reviews here, but our library has a number of his books. I took out “Under Heaver” sort of at random to see what his books were like, and so far I love the book. Any recommendations on what books to read next, any order that’s important? I know I will read more of these books. Looking forward to it.

    I started reading the Louise Penny books (again sort of at random) because they were about the Eastern Townships quite near where we have a summer cottage. Definitely better to read those in order, although some are better than others!

  4. Autumn Post author

    If you enjoy Under Heaven, then I’d go right into River of Stars. It’s set about 400 years after Under Heaven, and it’s interesting so see how the culture has evolved and how it looks at its own history. After that, I’d choose something from an historical era or and culture you are interested in, and read what he does with it. He’s used medieval Provence, Spain, Italy, England, and Justinian-era Constantinople for his fantasy analogues, among others.

    I really enjoy Louise Penny’s books. My mum grew up not far from where Three Pines is set, and it’s about half an hour away from where I live now, so we like recognising the places she uses, even when she alters the names. Quite apart from that, of course, she plots well and has terrific characters. Though as you say, some are better than others, as in any series.

  5. Carol

    I’m now deep into “Under Heaven” and firmly under the spell of this writer. I find that good books are slow reads, and I’m really enjoying this slow journey! I requested “River of Stars” from the library so it will be there waiting for me when I finish Under Heaven. Again, thank you so much for exciting my interest in this writer!

    Re Louise Penny, I loved the ones set on Lac Massawippi; I kept waiting for the Piggery Theater to figure in the stories! Yes, her ability to create interesting and attractive characters is a real gift, and she has a lot to say about ethics and personal relationships. The books definitely stand up to rereading, and I love recognizing some of the areas just over the border from Lake Averill!


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