Thursday, 4 December 2008

Knitting changes lives

I have always been fascinated by tapestries, those large ancient woven works such as the Lady and Unicorn tapestries, the Hunt of the Unicorn tapestries or the embroidered tapestry, the Bayeux Tapestry.

I have often seen my life as a tapestry I look back on, all the little decisions of life woven into its final form. One short year ago, I posted this.

At that time I sort of felt like like the unicorn, found out and hunted down. A year ago, I could not imagine that there might be a different place. I could not imagine what else I would do or be.

Picking up knitting needles was a statement. Knitting felt like me kicking back, like me defending myself.

Why knitting did this for me is something I am less sure of. Maybe it is that knitting's very simple repetitive pulling of one piece of string through another looped piece of string helped me see simple things I had forgotten. Maybe it is that I wasn't just looking back on the fabric of my life, but was becoming an active participant in its making. Maybe it is that knitting happens slowly, with diligence. Maybe it is that finding out that ripping back things and knitting them over again is not defeating, but liberating. Maybe knitting is giving myself permission to fail. Maybe it is all these things, maybe it is none.

It doesn't really matter how or why my world came to look and feel like a trap to me, I suppose. It doesn't really matter why knitting freed me. In the end, the only really important thing is that it did. The only thing that matters is that when I look at the tapestry of my life, at the threads being woven, I see a very different picture taking form.

I knit, I read, I play with string, I work, I have a family, I am, I exist. It is enough.

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