Transgression, Possibility, and New Beginnings

April 1st — Happy April Fool’s Day!

I thought of just leaving this post blank as my April Fool’s prank, but I can’t think of April Fool’s Day without a deep (even reverent?) bow to Trickster. Although Trickster is, as I’ve no doubt said too many times already, much much more than a mere April-prankster or con-artist, the three do have one thing in common: Transgression. Whether it is the Haida Raven trying to hoard Water & Light, or a 10-year old surreptitiously taping a “Kick Me” sign on a classmate’s back, or a phone scammer asking for your social security number — all are transgressing cultural norms, all of them shaking things up. The difference, of course, is the intended result. The scammer is no doubt greedy for money & doesn’t care about how that may shake things up for the victims. Who knows what the school-age prankster wants? It depends on the kids involved & the context — but the aim is probably some sort of perceived personal enhancement. The teller of Raven’s tale is — among many other things, including entertainment — demonstrating the futility of hoarding & strengthening the case for sharing as a culturally-defined necessity. Is the trick for the good of one or for the good of many…..?

Still, it is the shaking up & cracking open caused by Trickster’s exploits that intrigues me — the Trickster’s jumping over boundaries which (whether he lands on his feet or on his head) makes new things Possible. As Barre Toelken’s Navaho informant [and brother-in-law through Navaho adoption] Yellowman explained, Coyote, “unlike all others, experiences everything; he is, in brief, the exponent of all possibilities.” That’s the kind of “transgressing” I’d like to do — to make other ways of living possible in our confused human world. What boundaries might we need to leap these days? How can we do it gracefully enough to make positive new things possible without landing us all, as Trickster sometimes does, in some dire new predicament?

This year, April 1 is also a New Moon — a time that is traditionally associated with new beginnings, the response to new possibilities. I seem to be experiencing quite a few “new beginnings” right now.

Here where I live, Spring has truly taken hold. Migrating birds began arriving in earnest a week or so ago and are now establishing territories in earnest, many looking for mates, and all singing & singing. It’s planting time in the garden. This weekend I’ll have the fun of scattering a chaos of wildflower seeds to grow for the pollinators. This assortment of flowers was a big hit last year with hummingbirds, butterflies, and others. Such a delight visually & ecologically! Although I was late planting, lettuce & kale are starting up & now it’s time to plant the beans. Outside — in garden and woodland — new possibilities of nurture & beauty are emerging every moment.

And then, there’s the onset of really serious downsizing in preparation for a move. I am reluctant to leave this quirky old house, this garden, this friendly old neighborhood with its big oaks. Still, it’s probably a wise step and I see it as an adventure, an opening of possibilities as yet unglimpsed.

We’re not actually moving until early August but, since the real estate market here is hot at the moment, our realtor wants to put our house on the market by the beginning of May. Yikes! I am suffering from decision-making overload. An inability to choose has been a theme of my life….

Letting go of some of my books and memory-packed possessions is painful, although I do love to picture them flying out into the hands of others who will enjoy and perhaps treasure them as I have. I’m still looking for the perfect place to donate the big tub of supplies left over from my workshop-teaching days. And then, as I go through my stash of natural objects [most collected originally for teaching] and all my yarn & fiber, I can think of nothing but exciting Possibilities. Can I finally accept that, though I haven’t run out of ideas, I am running out of years in which to embody those great ideas? Biggest question: How will I keep working on my beloved fiber projects & still make my workroom look like it could be a perfect bedroom for potential buyers? Hmmm… Wish me luck!

In the meantime, Trickster has apparently been playing in my fiber stash. I had so much fun making the little scarf for the Spirit of the Betwixt and Between that I thought it would be fun to make a bunch of human-sized, almost sheer, “cobweb” felted scarves, something I haven’t done for years.

I got out this gorgeous soft fleece of merino and silk (hand-dyed by MyButterflyGreen in Ireland) and looked. It would make a lovely scarf or two.

But then, I turned it over to check the colors on the other side and encountered something more chaotic, something more compelling — Wilder!

I immediately saw not scarves but possibilities for a land where the wind might blow freely…. I remembered the turquoise Mediterranean Sea meeting the ancient sands of the Sahara on the Libyan coast. I remembered the desert wind, sometimes gently sculpting the dunes and sometimes whipping up clouds of sand and dust that could travel as far north as Europe. So — beautifully shaken up by the amazing fibers and by the winds of my imagination — I began to wonder. What spirit mask might want to dwell in such a place?

Who knows? Maybe I’ll have enough of the fleece to do both a felt “painting” and a scarf too. I’m so curious….

“Always we begin again….”

Benedict of Nursia

6 thoughts on “Transgression, Possibility, and New Beginnings

  1. Have you found your new home yet? If so, maybe go and walk around and get a feel for the spirit of the place and then perhaps the possibility of a Welcome Home spirit mask, from this amazing colored fleece, will present itself…

    Moving is never easy, sorting and choosing what to keep, what to give away to me was always the hardest aspect. With each move, I told myself, it will be easy since I have winnowed down each time yet each time, there was always something that I realized could be better used by another, and that included clothes, kitchen utensils and books that I did not want to read again.

    Re April Fools: my dearly loved Dad, a quiet, unassuming man changed into a trickster on April Fools. His best trick on my sister and myself came when April 1 fell on a Saturday. He knocked on our bedroom door, saying, “get up, get up, you will be late for school, breakfast is on the table”. I could hear my Mom chuckling but didn’t give it a thought as I grumpily got up, got dressed…when we came to the table, my Dad laughed and laughed and then presented us with new coloring books and crayons as a gift for “tricking” us.
    … ..


    • Your vision of a Welcome Home mask made my heart soar. Thank you, Marti.
      And thanks for the lovely story of your wonderful father — his gifts on so many levels!
      Moving is always an opportunity for soul-work…. Sometimes hard, but always good. And we’ve found a woods within walking distance that is a sacred place — part of Underground Railroad. I’m looking forward to getting to know its trees, its spirit.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How magical the other side of that fiber! I had assumed a mask would always come first, telling of where it wanted/needed to be. But I rather like the idea of the landing place coming first. Calling out for the spirit mask it desires to home. (Fingers crossed your trickster now knows I am not spam.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Except in one case, I’ve always made the mask first. The one time I made the environment first, I was amazed by the masks (3!) that emerged from it — a lot of agonizing along the way, but so many wonderful lessons! I’m curious about how things will work out this time. 🙂 P.S. Your message didn’t go to Spam this time — Hooray!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful Margery – may your gift to see beauty and creative possibilities in fiber extend to seeing beauty and creative possibilities in your move and your new home.

    Liked by 1 person

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