Comfort & Joy

I’m not ready to unpack 2020 yet. It still feels heavy and outside of COVID it was a tremendously difficult year personally. I’m a person who powers through, then unpacks when there’s a moment to catch my breath so there’s no doubt that you’ll hear about 2020 in the coming months now that I’m back in this space, but there’s time …

Reading has always been a huge part of my life. It’s funny, one day I was reading while commuting on the train in NYC and a former colleague who I hadn’t seen in 15 years came up to me and said “still reading I see!” I remember him now and that comment because reading is one of the things that got me through 2020. Reading comforted me at every turn. Every book felt like an old friend making space for me, reaffirming how much its there for me — in good times and in tough.

One of the books I received in 2020 (as a gift) from my friend Becca is Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko. It’s been reported that this YA author had been plotting this book since she was 13. In August 2020, she published it 2 days before her 27th birthday. I didn’t read this one in 2020 but I reached for it on January 6th 2021. Like so many of us, I needed to escape, I needed comfort. The book’s themes of change, equity, justice and righteous fight are welcomed as we usher in a new President and Vice President today. The cover art is stunning but more than that, it’s been a joy to read so far. The characters are vibrant, the writing rich! Although I’m only about a third the way in, I’m already excited for Book 2 in the series.

(Photo credit: TeniKomo Photography/Cover courtesy of Abrams)

Supported spindling is a newish addition to my yarn spinning arsenal and that’s what I did in 2020 craft-wise. Not a lick of knitting or crochet, just spinning — by wheel and by spindles — mostly supported spindling. As the lock-down lengthened (I’m still working remotely since March 2020), as COVID numbers surged, as flight after flight got cancelled trying to get my mom home before her holiday visa ran out, as the medical personnel in my family and everywhere else were crushed by the volume of patients, suffering and death, as people ignored the advice of professionals and the validity of science, as I watched the murder of a black man in broad daylight, as I learned of another black man being gunned down while jogging, as we got the news of Breonna Taylor being murdered in her home, I spun yarn. I spun, and spun and spun and spun. The meditative quality of spinning helped me zone out when the news, the state of the country and the world at large threatened to crush us.

The nuns of Inglenook Fibers fame are hands down, geniuses with fiber. I missed the sign up for their advent fiber calendar but as life goes, blessings sneak in between the tough times. A dear friend split her pack in half then sent me my own advent kit as a Christmas gift. I’ve been spinning the pack since the day after Christmas. Work interrupted my spinning but here we are: Comfort and Joy.

I finished the last color bump 3 nights ago and the goal is to ply them (2 ply) over the coming weekend … or maybe I might play hooky and ply during the inauguration today. The new administration brings a level of competence we were sorely missing during the last four years. More than that, it’s about time we’re comforted from 2020’s losses by a kind, empathetic President. It’s about time we feel more concrete, longer lasting joy.

Linking with Kat and friends today at Unraveled Wednesdays to share what we’re reading and crafting