Just a quick post to let you all know that I’m not dead…yet. I’ve been doing a LOT of spinning, in addition to a bit more plant dyeing. Over this past weekend I conducted my first experiment with dyeing unspun fiber: Corriedale cross and naturally variagated Blue-Faced Leicester, with hibiscus and mint, respectively. (It was a success.) I’ve also created my first successful art yarn (Halloween-themed) and I’ve been working on my new fiber blog, which I had hoped to be debuting by now; the intro post has been written, but the layout is taking a bit longer than anticipated.
A week into September and two weeks before my birthday, it continues to be disgustingly hot. Not by East Coast standards, mind you, but still. Today I braved the heat in order to trudge over to Dyelots, and came back with more of the Leicester roving, along with some Gotland and Polwarth, two packets of Jacquard acid dye (my first venture into this! I had originally planned to use plant dyes exclusively, but there are artistic effects I’ll need to combine both types to achieve–and besides, why should I limit myself?), plus a surprise gift from my generous and talented friend Janis, the proprietor: a few types of fungus and lichen that produce brilliant colors, and some eucalyptus bark. She says I’m turning into quite the alchemist, with my plant dye experiments (which, from a spiritual perspective, is rather apt for me).
But even though I’m not dead, and even though the heat persists, the season of death is upon us. The Hunt begins to awaken, and I can feel its first stirrings. One of our cats–Sassy, our 16 year old Maine Coon–is ailing. She has been losing weight steadily for a while now, and has swollen pustules under her arms. This morning I lifted her, and she felt weightless, like a hollow husk. She hasn’t been eating and over the past couple of weeks her eyes have begun to look hollow. I’ve debated taking her to the vet, or having the vet come to her, but at her age I have to wonder how much effort on my part to prolong her life further, at this point, would be for her and how much would be for me. I got her when my daughter was six; she was with me for an entire era of my life, and beyond it. I’m not ready to lose her, but I never will be, either.
She likes to sleep in the bathroom, where it’s cooler in this heat, and Jo and I have both taken to checking to see if she’s still alive when we go in there. I’ve begun to be haunted by the knowledge that her death is imminent. Our animals have a tendency to die around our birthdays, towards the end of September. (We had both been secretly afraid it was going to be Corbie, this year, but he’s doing a lot better.) But it’s not really because of our birthdays; it’s because the Hunt is passing through. It’s a good time to die, the season of death.