Keep Growing Quietly

photo (74)An old man was watching me work on my scarf as we sat side by side in a waiting room this morning.

“When I was a little boy in Denmark,” he said, “I used to hold out my hands for my mother and help her untangle the yarn.” I love when strangers offer sweet fragments of memory like that.

The scarf am knitting, by the way, is a mess, but I’ve decided that random and quirky is its style, and I love those colors: bright reds, magenta, threads of purple. It’s been slow going, but it’s gradually taking on length. Maybe someday I’ll finish it. Maybe by then I’ll be a woman who can wear it with panache.

The best part of my day was a bike ride, just me and my trusty Mantis, doing the Ballard Canyon loop. A few other cyclists went by in groups, wearing lycra shorts and loud jerseys and intense, not-fun expressions on their faces. I much prefer my solo ambling. There’s a section where you crest a hill and coast for a while past vineyards and meadows, smelling cut grass and fresh air, and I was thinking as I pedaled along how easy it is to be happy sometimes. Tunes help.

I’d been feeling insecure about my writing (although I guess that comes with the territory) and playing with the idea of submitting an essay to a journal of some sort but didn’t think I had anything worthy. I even started reading things out loud to Monte, only to discover with one piece in particular that while I very much needed to write it, no one…absolutely no one…should have to read it. And although I’ve been at peace lately with who I am and what I’m not, I was starting to fish around for reassurance and validation from others. But then I read these words from Rilke, like a personal message, almost…exactly right:

“Keep growing quietly and seriously throughout your whole development; you cannot disturb it more rudely than by looking outward and expecting from outside replies to questions that only your inmost feeling in your most hushed hour can perhaps answer.”

This entry was posted in Memoir, On Writing, Small Pleasures and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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