Monday, June 22, 2015

Stopping To Think


Stopping To Think

Every frame of the recently aired television production of Hilary Mantel’s, Wolf Hall, was magnificent; I cannot recommend it highly enough.  But one scene in particular has stayed with me.  It occurs when Cromwell is wandering the netherworld of fever dreams.  His beautiful dead wife is suddenly sitting beside him on the bed in a shaft of morning light, her hands moving, fast and fluid, as she weaves.  “Stop”, Cromwell says.  “Show me how you do it.”  Never looking up, his wife replies, “If I stop to think how I’m doing it, I won’t be able to do it.”

So much meaning in that one statement, at least for me.  In turning it over in my head  I’ve begun to see the many feats I perform on autopilot.  Cooking.  Knitting.  Occasionally, driving… God help me.  So for the past few days I have decelerated and considered every single moment in an attempt to give each the attention a good life deserves.  

I’ve slowed my knitting to better enjoy how the pattern forms beneath my fingers and I’ve turned off the radio and television to knit in the quiet.   Before I even taste the sweetness of the strawberry, I’ve stopped to admire the brilliance of its redness.  I’ve put down the newspaper to watch a robin in the birdbath as she splashes about in exhilarating dance, noticing how she dips her head beneath the water before every splash.  I’ve watched as she cleans her orange beak on the side of the bath when she’s done.  One side, then the other.  Rapid fire.  I’ve delighted in the crisp coolness of  freshly laundered linen as I slip between the sheets at bedtime.  I’ve sniffed the fragrance of the pages when I’ve opened the book I’m reading, felt the texture of each as I’ve lifted and turned it onward.  I’ve marveled at the mink-softness of Edward’s fur as I’ve run my hand over the top of his head.  I’ve listened to the wind.  I’ve walked outside in the rain.  I’ve opened the casement window at midnight to sit and stare at the moon.  I’ve relished the smell of rising yeast bread; marveled at the green of the ferns as I water them in the evening. 
Not only have I stopped to think about what I’m doing, 
I feel I’m doing it all just a wee bit better.

****
**That scene in Wolf Hall was played out for real when a neighbour called and asked me to teach her two girls how to knit.  Our first lesson was last week, and both parents decided to learn as well.  The youngest was a promising student even if she did turn somersaults around the room after each row.  The father, oddly enough, was a natural.**



16 comments:

  1. Living in the moment. Your comments were so perfect. Thank you.

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  2. I like the creaking sound my copy of Wolf Hall makes when I open it to read. Sometimes, I sit for a few minutes opening and closing it before I begin to read. It is the aperitif before a good meal.

    "That man is happiest who lives from day to day and asks no more; garnering the simple goodness of life" - Euripides

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  3. Perfect post, Pamela!
    (And Wolf Hall was wonderful).

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  4. So glad you enjoyed Wolf Hall Pamela. I didn;t see the TV series as I didn't wish it to spoil my enjoyment of the book, which I have read several times. I also enjoyed Bring up the Bodies - I expect that will be on TV next.

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  5. Mindfulness. I've heard it is life changing. Not sure if I have much of one left, but will be trying it. Haven't finished watching Wolf Hall so I have that scene to look forward to. It is different than the other films on the subject. Love all things British. Don't know why. Euripides was right, even so long ago. It is all in the living.

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  6. Lovely..enjoyed reading this very much..I did it with extra attention..x

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  7. Yes, that particular statement rang deeply in me, too. It was most evident when I took photos (long ago but no longer). And now in my dyeing and sewing. It's a private comfort to know how to do something so very well that it creates itself almost without thought. Great post!

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  8. I was late coming to your blog, so I decided to go back and read it from the beginning. What a joyful and wondrous journey I am having, living in the world you create. How I wish you were my neighbor! Gifted writer, kindred spirit, creator of beauty. Thank you!

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  9. Amei conhecer o seu blog, já fiquei por aqui!!!Achei maravilhoso!!!
    Visite-me:http://algodaotaodoce.blogspot.com.br/
    Siga-me e pegue o meu selinho!!!

    Obrigada.

    Beijos Marie.

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  10. Being in the moment.
    Mindfulness.
    It's a wonderful thing Pamela.
    Anita xx

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  11. Here in the UK we have already sampled the delights (and the torments) of Wolf Hall. Certainly one of the best things on TV this year.

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  12. Yes, this is so important. Thanks for the reminder. And wasn't Wolf Hall one of the best things on television? Adored it!
    xx Sunday

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  13. Pamela,
    I needed this reminder 'to enjoy the simple things of daily life' while living. If I lived nearby I'd ask to be in your informal knitting class. I can do only the basic stitches and have always wanted to learn to knit more than just a scarf. :-)
    xo,
    Karen

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  14. Quite right. The softness of a PON's fur is something that deserves a special moment of reflection.

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  15. My husband is a huge Wolf Hall fan and has read the books, seen the plays and is watching the TV series. I watched a bit myself and enjoyed the fine cinematography and acting. Summer is a good time to slow down to savor the moment. A fine lesson indeed! PS I finally posted my summer books list and included a link to yours.

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I love to read your comments! Each and every one! Though I'm always reading your comments, I may not respond in the comment section. If you want to write me directly, you may do so at pamela@pamelaterry.net. Thank you for reading!