On Being

It’s a gloomy afternoon. Rain has drizzled on and off all day and Canberra’s taken on that bleak look it gets as winter closes in. This is reason #1 to be happy. Bleak is good.

Reason #2 is that I spent my second last day of work before starting my Long Service Leave mostly in non-work activities. A long team lunch followed by drinks hosted by the branch to welcome new starters and to recognise there’s been a restructure.

Changing to a new branch of course means working with a whole bunch of people who’ve never (I assume) seen someone knit at work functions. I knitted at lunch. My new boss said over Pad Thai, ‘what are you knitting, Helen?’ which is of course much better than the usual horrified remark of  ‘are you knitting?’. He saw it was a sock before I even held it up. He said that was pretty cool and then people kept on eating. Fine by me!

Later, at the Branch drinks, I positioned myself by a filing cabinet with a glass of wine and my sock-in-progress and chatted to a friend (who has seen me knit before) and all was well. My friend even took a photo for me.

Knitting at work

I wanted this photo to show how easy it is to knit at work. I know some people don’t do it, through fear of being laughed at, ostracised, whatever. I’m beyond caring these days, especially after a glass of wine or two. A woman came to me and said she had been watching me during the speeches and marvelled at how I was listening, drinking and knitting all at once and she said the strangest thing.

“You’ll never get dementia!”

That’s one I haven’t heard before, but I liked it. Knit on!

But really the overriding sense of happiness comes from knowing that after tomorrow, I’m free. Five whole weeks to just BE. That’s what I’m most looking forward to. Days and days of not having to be anywhere, of not having to conform to the 9-5 routine, of just existing. At lunch today people spoke about their plans for long holidays in Europe and adventure packed travels. For a moment I thought, ‘do I have enough planned? Should I be planning something more active?’

But no, just being is enough for me. I find that challenging enough. Waking up everyday and choosing how to spend a day, whether it’s at home, or out and about, in the garden or whatever. Being. That’s what’s calling me right now.

I’m also pretty happy because I booked concert tickets this morning that thrill me. It’s a long way away but for the first time I’m going with friends to see kd lang in concert in November. Twenty years ago people told me I would love kd lang and I didn’t listen. I remember thinking ‘why?’ Twenty years on and her voice is just the most magical thing now. I can’t wait to hear that voice filling a concert hall and just expressing so much. I imagine that when she’s singing, she’s just Being too.

I keep watching You Tube clips of her singing, just to try and imagine what it’s like. Her version of Roy Orbison’s Crying is such a stunning rendition. I long to hear her sing it live. Is there anyone like her? I don’t think so. Sigh.



28 thoughts on “On Being

  1. Just wanted to give you a heads up that k.d. Lang was interviewed on Q this week (a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio show about music and the arts, and other stuff). You can find the audio interview here: http://www.cbc.ca/q/episodes/ I believe April 26th is the date you’re looking for. She preforms live as well on the show.


  2. oh dear, now I’ve gone and fallen in love with your sweater. And I probably ignored it when you made it. But as I am approaching spring it looks like the perfect sweater. Pattern is found where?

    and yes, maybe kd lang is the knitters’ singer. especially when she sings Leonard Cohen

  3. I would love a bleak day as it’s still hot & sunny here. A friend was told to stop knitting at the work place by her boss, so you are lucky that your boss appreciates knitting. Have a good holiday.

  4. what a lovely break to look forward to! that feeling of complete freedom must be intoxicating! and k.d. is wonderful, great to have that to look forward to too.

  5. Enjoy your time of justing BE there is nothing like
    The weeks will fly by quicker than you ever thought possible
    I am sure you will put your time to good use

  6. Lovely rendition of this song; I hadn’t heard it before, and it reminds me how much I like kd’s voice, too!

  7. Last March we hosted a Salon in – wait for it – Narrabundah for Jane Siberry. k.d lang sang backing vocals on “Calling All Angels” that you would have heard. In turn, k.d lang sings a version of ‘The Valley’ by Jane Siberry – she does this at most of her concerts.

    Jane Siberry now travels the world performing in ‘intimate venues’ but speaks eloquently about her collaboration with k.d. lang.

    The net effect is that I wish I had known you then – it was an incredible night and an incredible thing that Jane Siberry for who she is and her close partnership with k.d lang should have performed in Narrabundah! I wish you had been there.

  8. Oh Bells, the state of just being is fabulous. Days to fill as you see fit, or not… when I was waitressing full time I arranged it so I had Mondays and Tuesdays as my “weekend.” And most of the time, I would just be. I’d go get a coffee and take my notebook and write. I’d wander around the city. I remember some of those Mondays & Tuesdays as wonderful “me” days. Enjoy your Bells days!

    Beyond the Yarn Harlot talk, I’ve read elsewhere, too, that knitting is something that helps keep the mind “young.” Yes, it’s definitely good protection against dementia!

  9. kd lang hass one of the most beautiful voices in the world. It’s so full of life in all its aspects.

    Wine at a work function! Not here. Not on the premises, ever. We can go off site to a bar but not have alcohol here. I made a stew once with a beer in it and I had to throw the can away in an outdoor trashcan! I don’t knit at work because it’s frowned upon and while I don’t care what people in general think of me and my hobby, I do need to keep my job.

    I’m jealous of the Long Break. That sounds like a bit of heaven.

  10. Hi. Don’t want to crow or anything….but…can you believe I saw kd lang at the Labour Club in Belconnen approx 15 years ago? She’s worth every minute, every moment, every dollar, even at the Labour club (not even sure they still do gigs there!). God, I’ve got to get out. Where’s she playing in November? Hey, did you consider LSL at half pay? then you could have double the amount of time and if you promised not to buy wool …..

  11. You really do crack me up with your public knitting it’s a braveness I’m yet to conquer but rather in awe with your skills at doing so ;D

    LOVE KD Lang – an amazing voice and talent !

    As for your holidays, whilst everybody else is planning things to execute you know doubt having not planned much will come back well rested unlike the rest who will need a holiday from their holidays 😉 ..sit back – relax – chill – and knit 😀

  12. Oh Bells, enjoy your time off! I’m so jealous of your kd lang tickets. My favorite of hers is her rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah that she sang at the Olympics.

  13. We have a saying back home on the Isle of Wight – ‘Sometimes I sit and think and sometimes I just sit’. I add knit to the adage but the spirit is the same. I’m resisting the urge to say ‘Come and See Me!!!’ to say that I think your plan is an excellent one.

  14. The YarnHarlot gave an entire talk on how knitting prevents dementia (not quite sure whether it counteracts the effects of living with a teenaged daughter, but I’m hopeful). It was pretty interesting. Yay for your break. Get through that last day and then enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

  15. I finished crocheting a pair of gloves at last year’s athletics carnival (I’m a teacher) – I was amazed at the amount of (positive) attention I got from the kids. Lots of boys, in particular, were really interested in what I was doing, and wanted me to show them “how it worked”.
    I crochet at pool halls, too, while Joe plays – lots of boofy blokes come up to see what I’m “knitting” 😀

  16. I don’t knit at work, but have had some very interesting conversations on the tram to work while knitting. Lots of people asking where I come from – I swap between continental and english knitting and people always ask where I come from when I’m english knitting. It’s a great conversation starter and has been great for my German practice!

  17. the state of just being is highly under-rated, everyone so busy running around worried about ‘wasting time’. im sure youll find lots of doing too, though! what an exciting time! ive started making a conscious effort to knit at work, people have been great and start asking me what im working on today! and sigh, kathy d. i saw her last time she was here at the state theatre in sydney, just amazing. she can fill a room with beautiful sound, no microphone required. im hoping to see her this time too. so much to look forward to!

  18. I’m sure that by the end of five weeks you’ll be wondering how you ever fitted your work schedule into your life. Enjoy yourself. I’ll be very interested to read what you do over the next few weeks.

  19. I’d love to see kd lang live, I think it would be amazing. I should see if there is a Sydney show or two, I’m sure there would be!

    I had a very “lazy” long service leave too – in that I didn’t have a big trip or anything like that, mostly it was spent at home. Although I was a bit too lazy, and didn’t get as much done as I would have liked (even in terms of fun leisure things), but I am sure you won’t let that happen! It’s a lovely thing to have ahead of you, five weeks of leisure, of just being.

  20. I’m one who doesn’t knit at work. Not because I’m worried about what people will say- my colleagues know I knit and would probably quite like to see what I’m currently working on. I don’t knit at work because I have a half hour lunch break and by the time I’ve eaten that’s really just enough knitting time to tease me. So I have to just be content with wearing handknits to work.

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