Saturday, November 7, 2009


I'm knitting, again, after a seven year hiatus. I'm making a scarf with a three-strand wool, ribbon and string yarn. It's purple and red and black and very soft.

I sat on my bed last night when the children were all asleep, a time when I'm usually typing away at one thing or another.  I downloaded Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett, a remarkable program from American Public Media that you can listen to for free every week. Krista engages the world's most interesting thinkers and artists about questions of faith or lack thereof, and this week she replayed a 2004 interview with Karen Armstrong, the former convent nun turned prominent theologian and intellectual. There were readings of the poet T.S. Eliot's Ash Wednesday and some amazing history and beautiful music.

I felt content for the first time in weeks.

The airing of the interview is in anticipation of Ms. Armstrong's work on a Charter for Compassion, set to be unveiled on November 12th. The result of her 2008 TED prize wish, she along with Archbishop Desmond Tutu say that:

It is not simply a statement of principle; it is above all a summons to creative, practical and sustained action to meet the political, moral, religious, social and cultural problems of our time. In addition to participating in one of the many launch events, we invite each individual to adopt the charter as their own, to make a lifelong commitment to live with compassion.

In this time of people shooting fellow soldiers en masse, of armies bombing civilians and civilians killing themselves to kill others, of laws enacted banning marriage between those who love one another, all in the name of one God or another, it would probably be MEET AND GOOD to have a Charter for Compassion. Go to the website and check it out.


  1. I love Karen Armstrong! She is like the smartest woman alive. The smartest PERSON alive. When I listen to her I feel like at least someone has it all figured out and I am grateful for that.
    And you're knitting! I love to knit but I am not good at it. Scarfs are about as far as I go. But it is good to keep the fingers busy, to have the work for our hands. It's soothing.
    I hope you're having a good weekend, Elizabeth. I am thinking of you.

  2. Thanks for turning me on to Ms. Armstrong - I must by her book! I would love to be able to download this program too. I swear, I've suddenly become surrounded by people who don't read and discuss and think this kind of stuff and I'm like DYING for intellectual/spiritual stimulation/discussion!
    btw - just clicked over and read your Moms Egg piece. It was wonderful!

  3. I am very much in favor of knitting. I have yarn for 2 scarves. I plan to knit when I need a break from finishing my thesis

  4. "I felt content for the first time in weeks."

    You're on the right track! I can't knit, so I listen and do jigsaw puzzles - thanks for reminding me it's time to set up a card table again!

  5. I'm going to listen to the NPR broadcast tonight, thank you for telling me about it. Glad to hear you felt content. My contentment seems to have left me this week, hoping it will return soon:)

  6. I would love to take up knitting! Your knitting in the picture is very pretty. :)

  7. I don't knit..well, I learned basic knitting from my grandmother a very long time ago. I can make flat things. I did make a hat recently from one of those round loops. The kids' loved the hat. I need to make four more for Christmas.

  8. You knit?! Yay! I've never listened to this show. I will have to give it a go.

  9. Sounds like a wonderful evening. I bet your inner woman was purring. Hard not to think of cats with all that lovely yarn...

    Have you seen Syrendell's site? She's a Californian too. Among other things, she makes (and sells) gorgeous yarn.



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