I keep trying to think of what it is I could possibly like about knitting. Why there’s an urgency to it with every project. Because I buy yarn, and I can’t wait to start working with it. Then I cast on and can’t wait to finish so I can wear it. Then I never wear it. I rarely wear what I make.
What is there to like in this cycle?
There’s legitimate reasons. The repetitiveness. The calming quality. The pleasure in having made something. But the reason I give time and time again, and that I’ve given in this Internet space over and over again, is that it’s how I know to love people.
But I say the same about writing. I could give you volumes of words I’ve written for people I love, because it’s frequently the best way I know to convey how strongly I feel In. That. Moment. Volumes of letters and stories and poems. Greeting cards and notes passed in class. For people who didn’t really know what they meant, and for people who I know will never lose the words I had for them. A red piece of notebook paper from middle school with words written in gold gel pen, and stars drawn on the top that were originally hearts but I re-did because I thought that was too much. I asked “Do you play baseball? I’m pretty sure you do.” But back then, it was just as legitimate and meaningful as anything I say now, and I still remember it.
So there’s more than one way for me to show I love someone. I know that now. My other reasons also fall through, by this logic. I like making sure the people I love are never cold, that they wrap themselves in the hours I put into the sweater or hat or blanket. Hours that were just about them. I like taking care of people in this way. I like taking care of people in more ways than that, though. I know that now.
I want so badly to take care of someone.
Where does this urgency in knitting come from then? Why am I not just willing, but sometimes emotionally and mentally required, to knit for hours on end, until my fingers cramp up and refuse to knit even one more stitch? If that urgency falls away, what am I left with?
I’m serious about this. What am I left with? I have a cardigan in my purse that I’m working on. I don’t want to want it to be finished, I don’t want to want it to reach a certain part. I want to want to knit on a partially finished sweater.
And I want to listen to a podcast without wanting it to be over so I can hear the next one, in case something exciting happens in it. I want to write this blog post without worrying when the next one will come out. I want to take a breath without wondering what the Tourette’s will want my next breath to be like. Will it be short and gaspy, or a deep breath in until my chest wants to burst? I want this one, and only this one, to be complete. I want to smile at the train conductor with the kind eyes and feel my stomach do that thing I forgot it could do when something is only an idea, and just feel that without wondering if I’ll look back on that moment a year from now. And I want to write this down, all of this, the way I understand love to be, without worrying who will read it. Whoever is meant to hear these particular words will, and whoever is not will pass right over it. And also I don’t understand it. There’s so many things I just don’t understand, no matter how much explanation I’m given. None of it makes sense. I’m not stupid enough to think I’ll ever understand much of anything that happens. So there’s that.
I want to feel things and question things and doubt things. I want to doubt things. I want to talk about the past with my mother in a way that doesn’t make her ask, “What happened to you along the way so you think everything is your fault?” I want to remember things are not my fault, that something Bigger and Stronger has a hand in everything I do. I want my heart to break, and I want to FEEL it. Not ignore it. It is a real thing to feel, and I don’t want to cheat myself of that. I want to cry for everything i feel is lost, taken. But also, I want to be happy in every moment. Every moment I’m not happy, without good reason to be otherwise, is a wasted moment. I want to ensure every moment is a good one, and I want that to be enough for me. I want this moment to be enough.
This moment I enough. But there’s an urgency to how much I want it to be enough. I don’t think this urgency will ever be gone, for anything. I think it’s too far off. And what will I be left with without it? Because if I’m being honest, I’m in a damn big hurry to find out what comes next.
(A lot has changed since my last blog post. I don’t want to write it all here, because it’s strange to see the words. I did podcast about though, which I recommend because I’m very delightful over here.)