Saturday, January 10, 2009

Last night some worsted saved my life

I got some very bad news last night. No, it's not about the health of anyone close to me; we're all well and happy. I can't divulge it because it's not my place to do so. But this post isn't about what the news is -- it's about my reaction to it.

I cried for a while, ranted and raved to Noel about how unfair it was, grieved silently, indulged in morbid speculation about the future. Then I picked up the sleeve of Cady Gray's cardigan and got to work.

What would I do in a moment like this, a moment when a dream is dying and I can't imagine what comes next, without her half-finished sweater? Above all, bad news makes you feel impotent. There's nothing you can do to stop it. A worrier like me spins a thousand scenarios, each worse than the last, about what might happen. But there beside me is something I'm creating. Something beautiful and functional. Something, most importantly, under my control.

It sounds melodramatic, I know. But I believe knitting is saving me from despair. I'm bringing about change. I'm using my hands, my brain, the labor of others who made the raw materials, to clothe my daughter. I'm moving forward, stitch by stitch, row by row.

Each time I pick up the needles, I remind myself that there is always a way to create. There is always the ability to share in the creativity of others. There is always beauty to bring into the world. There is always trust in one's own abilities that is necessary to make the leap from raw materials into the process of making. There is always thankfulness for the opportunity to turn yarn into fabric, and fabric into warming, comforting, protecting, inspiring, loving shelter for myself and those I love.

My grief will always be with me; I know that by experience. But it can be transformed. Because I am a knitter.


Doc Thelma said...

That's probably why I cook so much in times of trouble. I should take up knitting instead; sweaters have no calories! Sorry for whatever the trouble is; feel free to rant privately if you need to.

the secret knitter said...

I know how knitting can help when I'm down, so I'm glad you have that to ease your stress and occupy your mind. Whatever has happened, I'm sorry to hear it has upset you so.