In the days leading up to today I have been sorting through the many piles of magazines I have, ripping out articles, recipes and other things I want to remember for the meantime (until I throw them out). I will recycle the magazines on Friday. One of the articles I saved was about a mother whose child died very suddenly of a high fever. She wrote about working through her grief by knitting. She included an excerpt of a poem by a woman named Judyth Hill, called "Wage Peace." I also include a bit of it here. Her words really speak to me:
...Remember your tools: flower seeds, clothing pins, clean rivers.
Play music; learn the word "thank you" in 3 languages.
Learn to knit: make a hat.
Think of chaos as dancing raspberries.
as the outbreak of beauty or gesture of fish.
Swim for the other side...
I've learned to chill a bit since taking up the hobby, although I sometimes feel it causes me to be in more of an agitated state rather than Zen-like. That's my struggle with perfectionism versus creativity. It's hard when those demons compete. On the trip to England for my husband's funeral almost 4 years ago now, I brought a skein of nubby acrylic yarn and some straight needles and the scarf I had started with it. It was an attempt at trying to distract myself. The knitting was pretty bad. Both my mom and my grandmother helped me fix it a couple of times, taking out rows and giving it back to me when mended. For a while it seemed to be a game of expand and subtract. Once I finished it I wore it a few times but now it's been seen more recently as the main accessory on the annual snowman I make. When not around the snowman's neck it hangs on a wooden peg on our porch, a daily reminder when I come home. Since those scarf making days I've mastered hats, so I've been going with that.
The truth is, I am a collector. I collect aprons, cook books, baby clothes, Sesame Street themed books, Pez dispensers, buttons, fabric (never been a great one for sewing but I love the palate of colors found in fabrics), knitting needles, knitting books, and yarn. I should try to do more stuff with the yarn, rather than collect it. I use it mainly for motivation, I guess. I had to buy a wicker basket to store it, so I can see what I have more clearly. Otherwise I buy more of the same thing, forgetting that I already had it. I have a ton of baby yarn my mom gave me that's packed away in a bureau, away from the cat. Someday I'll have a studio where I can store all this stuff. I envision a garden shed with a wood stove, my real hermitage. Until then, the spare bedroom gets to house this stuff.