The Witch Who Will End the World

There’s a witch whose job it is to end the world. She carries in her pocket a red string knotted four times. Each knot contains a wicked, powerful wind. The last one she unleashes will be strong enough to end everything.

Countless times grieving gods have come to her, begging her to untie a knot. “Look,” they say, one after another, “at my people, all massacred at the hands of their enemies. How can the world go on after that? Untie one knot and wipe the earth clean.”

She never does. She has the same number of knots in her string she had when the world began. There are times when she wonders if humanity is setting out to see just how terrible we would have to be to get her to let one wind whip around the world.

At those times, you will find her on a spring day, watching a fat and happy baby take its first steps in the soft grass or feeding the ducks or naming the shapes she sees in the clouds. At those times, she asks herself, “Would you never want even this again?” But she’s never had enough of laughing children or soft kittens or wide blue skies.

It’s hard to have hope in this old world. It’s hard to know the things we are capable of and not despair.

But the witch who will end the world still has her string knotted four times.

The end is not near.

Progress on the Black, Gray and White Afghan

black and white afghan 1

black and white afghan 2So, here’s what there is to learn from the first “Let’s kind of spread everything out and see if I’m right about size and such” test of the afghan:

1 For an afghan I perceive of as being mostly black, it is not yet.

2. It is not yet, because the black and charcoal are impossible for me to crochet at night. I’m planning on using my time at the Southern Festival of Books to get those squares together.

3. I had thought that the blanket would be 290 squares, making it roughly 10 by 15, but I decided 15 might be a little long. I might cut down to 13.

4. Also, I’ve only got three colors left. I think I’ll more easily get 25 piles out of the yarn than I will 29.

5. In that case, I’m just over half done.

6. No, I have not tucked any ends yet. Yes, I will regret that with all my heart.

7. I’m definitely going to outgrow my orange bag.. Into what, I’m not sure.

8. It somehow feels like it’s going very quickly and very, very slowly.

9. But I am very pleased with how it’s looking.