My favorite yoga teacher, Amy, is writing a dissertation on yoga and meditation and the mind. In class last Sunday she talked about recent research in memory and how the brain processes it. She is very excited about how this research dovetails with her own on how meditation affects the brain.
I like Amy’s approach to yoga. Her classes are calm and quiet, challenging but restful. Her voice has the perfect pitch for a yoga instructor, clear, even and just loud enough to be heard. I’m not very good at yoga, but I always feel like I accomplished something after her class.
After after class one day, she asked me if I meditated. I told her no, I fidget. I told her that knitting was my meditation, organized fidgeting. She nodded, immediately understanding. Everyone needs a method to calm the brain, to open it to new ideas, and to remember.
Almost overnight, our weather has turned chilly. We got out the duvet, and turned on the heat. This afternoon to run my errands, I pulled my Clapotis around my shoulders. It kept me warm and cozy in the still air conditioned hardware store, bookstore and Starbucks. I made this wrap a few years ago to take to Europe. The yarn is from Brooks Farm, and is a perfect blend of silk and fine wool. I wanted something that would take a beating — be light, but hold up to stuffing in carry on bags, squishing down in a suitcase, and always look good. It is all these things.
I remember ordering the yarn, waiting for it to arrive. I remember The Husband acting as a swift, as I wound it into balls by hand. I remember how I got into the rhythm of the pattern, as it became automatic. I remember knitting it with a migraine, but without error.
I remember wearing it on our trip. In Dublin, on a pub crawl that highlighted Irish writers. In Paris wandering around the pyramid at the Louvre. I remember wearing it to the local pub in Hampshire, and to dinner in London.
When I wore it today, all these memories came back to me. While waiting for the nice man to get furnace filters, I thought of sitting on a stool in a pub frequented by James Joyce. Of the view out our hotel room in Paris, of seeing old friends in London. Of that scary bit when the chunnel train goes under the channel, and it gets really dark. Of flat beer and warm cokes.
And I remembered taking this photo of Kea, just after the yarn arrived. She added her memory to the yarn too. I think I’ll wear it to yoga on Sunday.