Tuesday, July 25, 2006

There but for the grace of...?

I tell you, weird stuff is happening lately. Both in the knitting world and to me personally. Because I'm a self-centered person, I'll start with the "me" part.

Last Tuesday a huge storm blew through town. A single, powerful bolt of lightning turned this...

Into this.

You might not get the full impact of the difference, so let me show you what else the lightning hit.

Introducing a section of my boiler.

Ex-boiler, rather.

As best as I can figure, the lightning hit the well cap (artfully tucked in the center of my hollyhocks, located about three feet from where I probably would've been sitting at the time) and traveled down into the basement (directly under where I would've been sitting), where it connected with the boiler. Which got so hot that the iron turned white, the controls melted, huge burn marks lined either side of the casing, and the manual sitting on top of it turned to ashes.

Yet somehow, by the grace of I don't know who or what, the house was spared any further damage.

The place has an eery smell of melted electrical wiring, the cat needs serious therapy, and I've just been forced to spend a heck of a lot of money to replace something that should've lasted me 30 years... but that's ok. I'm grateful that nothing worse happened.

However, if anyone can tell me a story of a culture, tradition, or superstition in which being struck by lightning is a good thing, by all means share it here. I could use a little reassurance.

The other weirdness happened in the knitting world. Last week word spread like wildfire that a prominent yarn company had just been accused of selling a cashmere yarn with no cashmere. The company issued its response, lawyers were brought in, vendors notified and reassured...

I know enough to understand that this is a potentially HUGE issue to be worked out among the yarn companies, their mills, their suppliers, their lawyers, and their wholesale customers. That it's not my battle, and that my energy would be better spent doing other things. Like calming the cat, who still jumps at the slightest sound. I know that this kind of brouhaha is happening now because the market is tightening, people are feeling the pinch, and they're starting to snipe at each other. We knew the tightening would come, it's nothing to worry about, but it is bringing to light some unpleasant behavior.

But the dispute is best left there. An ugly issue not to be dragged out into the street and poked with giant sticks.

And yet that's precisely what a few people did in the forums this week. It was a replay of something I've seen again and again. A conversation about heresay, gounded in few incomplete facts, that quickly becomes a fight between kids in the schoolyard.

"Oh yeah? Well you're a giant poop head."
"Well you're a stupid head!"
"How dare you call my friend a poop head?!"
"I've been here longer than you so I can say whatever I want."
"Oh yeah well I have more posts than you and we don't like people like you so just leave."
"Name-calling is not ok here, so take your dumb stupid head and go elsewhere! Stupid head!"
"Nya nya, I'm not leaving! I'm right and you're wrong so there!"

(At which point a crowd gathers, kids murmur "ooooh....", and a dutiful student goes running for the teacher. Which would be me.)

Only these are all grown adults. I presume they weren't raised by monkeys, so they should've known better. But they did it anyway.

What makes this dispute different from the others? Nothing. Which I find extremely disheartening. It's like we aren't evolving as a species. We just keep hitting the same wall without jumping over it.

Or maybe this is just a case of too much energy out there in the world right now, and not enough healthy places for it to go? Like that lightning bolt that found its way into my boiler. I'll stick to that theory, because I'd like to maintain a certain degree of optimism.

And finally, I send eternal gratitude to Stephanie for putting into words what it's really like to be a writer. Brilliantly put, and oh so true. Thank you Stephanie!


Anonymous said...

Precisely why I'm no longer participating, although I love you still.

Jane said...

I agree that there's weird energy out there, and it doesn't have an outlet. What happens to playing nice? And why don't they just knit? Why?

I'll admit that I'm a bit intrigued by the drama, to a point. Actually, I can stand it for about 10 minutes. I'm sorry you have to deal with it, and I am so grateful for your cooler head.

And I am verrry happy that your hollyhocks saved you! Annie sends a paw-pat to Casey!

Cindy said...

Clara- maybe everyone is getting wound up waiting for the KR retreat sign ups! You could always threaten them with punishment - "If you don't behave, you won't be able to go on the retreat."
Just kidding - sorry you have to play forum monitor. Stay calm. Some people never change or grow up. We are lucky to have you and all you have done for us knitters. Thank you.
By the way- I LOVE your flower pictures on your blog.

Bess said...

Whew! Thank goodness your house is okay. Whew Whew Whew!

(pat beating heart back to normal)

As for forum squabbles, oh man. I am so glad I missed that. Not buying any yarn for a year has an unexpected bonus!

Lawsee I missya darlin'.

Luann said...

1) I think the only good thing about getting hit by lightening is that it's extremely unlikely it will ever happen to you again. I'm so glad it's just the boiler and not the rest of the house (and poor Casey!) - not that it's ever fun or cheap replacing a boiler (ask me how I know...)

2) It feels like one of those times of the year when the KRF has its collective period and everyone is crabby for a while and then (most) people get over it. At least I hope so!

Martha said...

Am glad the house is A-OK, that you all are A-OK (Casey will chill out) & that the flowers will be A-OK.
It's good to know that the goddesses & gods are watching over you.
As to the KR posts, piffle. Like our dear Bess, I am glad to be on a yarn diet & have missed the harrumpfs & dang-nab-its from the disgruntled few (or is it the disgruntled masses?).
Biggie XOXO to you.

Laura said...

Clara, my dear....you need to sit down and have a long tall glass of wine and pet poor Casey while reasurring him that all is well because "Mommy" is there. I'm sure you've reasurred him already but one's kitties can never have too much pampering, can they?

So very sorry about your boiler but you and Casey are the most important and you're both okay.

Roo-Bee-Faye said...

So glad you both are okay! That is very odd, I must say. The parallels between the happenings over at KR and the energy hitting your boiler...very strange! You would think it was Halloween or something? Or a Friday the 13th? I hope you are finding time to relax and knit!

I, too, read the Harlot's post about writers and I agree wholeheartedly. My grandmother is a published author and my father is on his way to becoming one, and they both have experienced similar feelings. You are in good company it seems!

Anonymous said...

Glad you and the house turned out relatively ok. Yes, sometimes as adults we respond and act more like immature kids. (I am always amazed at the wisdom of my son - I listen to it :) Glad you stepped in and locked that thread. Terry

Deborah said...

Owning a home, a trailor, a tent... the travails of shelter or the lack thereof... My recent challenge involved water - lots of it - in the walls - long time - unbeknownst to me = very wet ibeams (no relation to ipods although I think this is where I shall next reside if this #$@ keeps up or after plumber gives me the friggin bill)!