The November arctic blast means an early test of winter monastic mode. Textile project materials and supplies have migrated up from the ground floor studio and take over every surface. “Real life” goes on in the background, of course, just as someone in every hermitage has to plan the menus, pay the bills, and arrange for health care. In between is not quite the Book of Kells, but hand-carving stamps and using them as rubbing plates to apply oil paint to cotton… well, it takes a certain quietness of mind, body, and soul.
Full disclosure, I am listening to audiobooks as I work. In trying to push back from the profane world of politics, I’ve decided to listen to prize-winning novels. This morning I finished BEFORE THE FALL by Noah Hawley (ITW Thriller Award Winner, Best Hardcover Novel, 2017; Edgar Award Winner, Best Novel, 2017), then started FINAL GIRLS by Riley Sager (ITW Thriller Award Winner, Best Hardcover Novel, 2018). I might work my way up to Nobel Prize winners… but don’t pressure me.