Sunday, 9 August 2015

(working) vacation

a couple of tolt acquisitions, one of which has already become a creature comforts for the photo shoot.

i got back almost a week ago now from a trip that i'd been excited about for nearly a year. i went to vancouver to do theatre for living training with the actual theatre for living team, which was such an incredible opportunity after training and studying and practicing it for the past five years. i also met up with some lovely fibre folks who i've been connecting with online now for so long that they felt like old friends already - how exciting to make interwebs friends into real life friends!

A photo posted by Ash Alberg (@sunflowerknit) on

theatre for living is a style of community-based theatre that uses games and performance techniques to address conflict within communities. you may recall that my friend loc trained me to be a joker (facilitator) last year, and i ran workshops at egale's OUTshine conference back in may using theatre for living techniques. actually getting to work with david was incredibly special though - i spent six days intensively training with artists and activists and compassionate people from all sorts of backgrounds and from all over the world, solidifying my own practice while getting to analyze others. ultimately, my practice has a couple of very large differences from david's method for joking, but we share in our deep belief in the work and a desire to help the world even when it's all falling to crap.

A photo posted by Ash Alberg (@sunflowerknit) on

i also got the opportunity to hang out with several really awesome, wonderful, clever, fabulous knitters and fibre artists - sylvia, caitlin, kristan, emily, and alexa! and i got to meet paula, the new owner of baaad anna's (where i picked up three skeins of yoth's big sister for a shawl design), as well as the lovely folks at tolt yarn and wool (where i bought enough yarn that i went over the daily limit for unclaimed purchases at the border…). sylvia and i had an adorable knitting date in a park, occasionally interrupted by the cutest little badass girl. caitlin and i helped frame a thing at baaad anna's, then she hung out with me and an old friend while her darling one stabbed me with tiny needles for six and a half hours. then kristan, emily, tiny ellis, alexa, and i all went for a yarn road trip down to tolt, which is about two hours south of the border. fun fact: canadian border guards are waaaaaaay nicer than american ones. no matter what the american ones try to claim. also, giving them your phone's password is super invasive, but will also make getting out of their offices significantly less painless than not giving it to them. yay, creepy fucked up security measures…i should probably learn how to not get so aggressively defensive when it comes to pushy security guards. whatever. we had fun once we got out of there, and that's all that matters.

more tolt acquisitions, destined for a gift, a new design, and selfish knit which i've actually scheduled into my queue.

i managed to meet up with some old friends from halifax who have either relocated to vancouver or moved back there after being on the opposite coast. in a lot of cases, i hadn't seen these friends in three years. god, i missed them. being an adult is weird sometimes, and i notice it especially when reconnecting with old friends and we realize it has literally been years since we last saw one another, even though it feels like yesterday. that's a sign of a good friendship, in my books. i was also staying at one of the cutest (and most memorable, apparently) houses in east van. it's a bit (a lot?) of a queer punk house, so there were a number of folks dropping in for a night or three and then whisking off on another adventure. such great humans. really great conversations, delicious communal food gatherings, and a good blend of evenings out and evenings spent in watching netflix and youtube.

a gift of handspun from sylvia.
and now i am home, and my heart is still mending from minor breaking (a prerequisite for any travel i embark on/return from, it seems), and i have a box of kinnikinnick gluten-free pancake mix (because i can't find it on the prairies but you can get it on either coast, and it's delicious) and oodles of yarn and plans and projects and opportunities coming up. and i am considering maybe moving to the west coast someday, and hating the shitty housing market in vancouver (good luck finding anything for less than $1 million, even if it's a pile of sticks or an empty lot), and also still missing halifax and wishing it wasn't already a year since i was on the east coast with all my loves out there. my heart exists in many tiny fragments most days.

a friend posted something on facebook recently, and it said, "they say | "follow your heart" | but if your heart is | in a million pieces | which piece do you follow?" my response to that is, "as many as possible."

i will share with you all the very exciting developments in my fibre life in the next day or two. stay tuned! it's a busy and beautiful time.

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