2.09.2014

The Flow



We have been quite overloaded at the Land with bouts of illness, then non-napping Toddler and lack of childcare and such. Nothing exciting, thoroughly boring & whiney, life just happens. But enough nonsense, I'm here to update you with things that have been going on.

First off, I've been busy trying to find time to enjoy the flow. I was introduced to this concept a while back, oddly enough, from a local music teacher where BabyLorp and I used to take "lessons" to fill our time & meet with other new moms & babies, of course unwilling to admit that I have a not-so-hidden agenda that BabyLorp would start playing Vivaldi movements when he turns three. Around 8-10 babies with their caregivers would gather around, and this teacher would then started singing or playing the piano. Babies were allowed to do whatever they wanted but pretty soon, one by one, they would gather where the teacher was, or around the piano, and the teacher would continue singing the same song/playing the same piano tunes until all babies lost interest before moving on to something else. Even if there were only one baby still interested (usually BabyLorp, as he was always the late-comer to any gathering) he would play the tune again and again until the baby moved on.

Few years later and hopes of Vivaldi-playing toddler vanquished, I realize the importance of what the teacher was trying to accomplish: he tried to capture the flow of each babies, and providing them with ample opportunity to be immersed in the simple enjoyment of music.

The flow theory was introduced by a dude whose name I really can't pronounce, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He studied concentration camp survivors and saw that there are survivors whose mental health basically well-maintained even after such inhumane condition. He then theorized about a state of intense immersion into something that we do and how it contributes to mental well-being. You can read more about it here at wiki, or he has a wonderful TED talk here as well, but you probably already experience it in your life. It is when you are in the zone, so to speak. For me, there are few activities when I feel fully immersed, in the flow, one of them is knitting.

Which lead us to the second part of the post. I've knitted for as long as I remember. I am never a fast knitter rather I like the technical challenge of knitting. Things that I knit tends to be small items but they challenge me in certain way, perhaps new ways of holding the yarns, adding colors, shaping, reducing, pattern-reading, etc. My knitting mojo has been pretty much hibernating until I found this wonderful book of Shetland knitting, all written in Japanese. The pictures and complexity of projects in this book inspires me to pick up knitting again and the featured gloves above are one of my recent creation. (If you are a knitter, I'm MamaLorp at the Ravelry and you can follow my adventures there).

Yes, money helps a bit, but finding the flow, is, I think, part of what makes life worth living. So, I'd like to know, have you found your flow?

P.S. We will be taking a brief hiatus for Spring Break. We'll see you again when the cherry blossoms are blooming.