Jun 12, 2008

Knit Wit

I am finally learning how to knit - sort of.
Actually, the knitting lesson was a Christmas present from my fiance. A gift can tell a lot about the giver and the receiver. My fiance gave me the knitting lessons thinking it would help me to slow down and relax. My gift to him? Rock climbing lessons! I thought it would be cool for us to climb the side of mountains together via lessons at our local rock climbing wall downtown. However, rock climbing is on hold until I am out of pain.

If you have been reading my blog for a bit, you will remember that I was in a serious car accident in December, on my birthday no less. I was hit by a drunk driver and flipped my car. If you missed that post
click here to read it, if you wish. I haven't been able to blog as often as I would like to (and I miss it). The past several months have been challenging in many ways and stresses. Chronic pain is one of them. The accident forced me to slow down, whether I liked it or not and whether I learned how to knit or not. So, I decided to learn how to knit.

As I struggle to properly hold the knitting needles, keep the yarn around my fingers, and try not to let my little loops fall off my needles, it occurs to me that knitting is very much like my life lately. There are two general schools of knitting: either English style, known as "throwing" the yarn which is held in the right hand or Continental style, known as "picking" the yarn which is held in the left hand. It doesn't surprise me that I fell into the "picking" style since it requires me to maneuver my yarn in my left hand, even though I am mostly right-handed. Sort of like learning how to knit backwards. And there has been quite of few times that I conducted my life backwards as well.

For example, I married before I went to college. I became a supervisor before I was really ever an employee. I became a stage actress way before I ever took a single acting lesson. I owned my owned boutique having never before worked in a store. And I bought my first home without using a realtor or lawyer. I remember I bought my first plane ticket for Europe before I ever applied for my passport and I moved to Germany before I learned to speak German. I was insistent on learning how to make crepes when I didn't even own a crepe pan. And I made my first (and only) quilt having never picked up a sewing needle. I even once agreed to have "my" apartment photographed for a magazine before I even had the keys in my possession, nor any furniture for it in the first place! Oh what a tangle web we weave. But what a fun web it was!

Well, some would call my life experiences as "leaping before looking." Or maybe just plain nuts. Then there is my favorite, "What is wrong with you???" I think, truth be told, it is a recipe made of excitement mixed with a dash of impatience stirred with adventure. But it can be a recipe for disaster at times as well as a recipe for a very rich life. Looking at my life so far, I would say I have very rich taste - and I ain't on no diet!

But on the other hand, life has a way throwing its own ingredients into the mix and that is when things can get messy - sort of like my ball of yarn right now.

When I find myself holding onto life "to keep it all together", that usually results in my feeling frazzled. And while knitting, I tend to hold and manipulate the yarn too tightly, which causes the yarn to fray and become fuzzy.

I like how this stray "hair" in my knitting demonstrates how deceptive life can become. The loops look fairly neat, orderly, and all in a row...but if you look closely, you see how frazzled the yarn became in my effort to keep all the loops just right.

These loops, which appear lined up in a perfect row, took much, much effort to get that way. The fuzzy yarn shows how much handling, holding, coaxing it took to get them lined up as they should (or at least how I think they should). While the end result is passable, the process was painful. At times, it required me to unravel the entire row and begin again. And at other times, my yarn was in such a mess, I couldn't even unravel it myself. I had to go to my teacher and have her undo my mess while I stood there and watched carefully how she slowly (once again) showed me the method, the technique, and the proper way to hold my needles so that I may accomplish my goal.

The best lesson she gave me though was a reminder: She reminded me that I was a beginner.

Like any good teacher, she encourages and she corrects. She expects mistakes but she also expects me to keep trying. She never chastises nor makes me feel guilty for having my yarn frazzled or knotted up. She is gentle with my yarn, as she patiently untangles my mess, knot by knot, and carefully rolls it all up into one neat ball of yarn again. Then she hands it back to me with a smile and simply says: "Now, try again."

I know of another teacher that is just as loving and patient with me. If only He could teach me to be as gentle with myself as my knitting teacher is with me. Currently, my life is not going as smoothly as I would wish it. But, no matter how knotted up it may get, it is nice to know that I can always try again. And again.

So, at this time in my life, I am trusting my life teacher to help show me my way. I will try again. And I am going to take the time I need to gently and patiently roll my life up again neatly. Not perfectly. Not quickly. But you can bet it will be very rich.

May the knots in your life untangle easily and know that you can always try again.

And again.

From my house to your house,


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