The thing about knitting Is you have to choose: Colour or pattern? A beautiful texture Will only show With a solid colour. Likewise, A vibrant, multicolour yarn Will get lost In a busy pattern. I've learned this From careful observation And the sharp edge Of experience. No sweater Can hold Every colour I think is beautiful; Or every pattern I want to see Play out. Trying to cram Everything in Only ends In a tangled mess. In my life, There are so many Things I want To see, To do, To be, To discover. More often than not I try to wedge Them all in Rushing about, Hurried and stressed, Confused about why My nerves are jangled. But it is simply Colour and pattern Clashing: Quietly, Or violently. I want to make The perfect plan Where everything fits. But at some point You have to just Listen to the yarn. It says: There is always Another sweater. Sometimes ideas Belong to The next project. It's the only way Not to ruin the one That's already In your hands. So when I start To feel myself Overfilling my existence, Reaching for too many Different skeins Trying too many Different stitches, I will simply Tell myself: I am saving this For my next life. And even if That other life Turns out to be Nothing more Than a dream... It still lets me Fall in love again with The colour and pattern I have chosen For this life; And the yarn Flowing through My fingers Right Now.
Note: Today, I went on a Zoom silent meditation retreat as part of a course on Mindful Self-Compassion I am doing through a breast cancer charity. I was a bit apprehensive about spending a whole afternoon this way, but I found it incredibly moving. The exercise that touched me most was one where we focused on falling in love with all the little details of the things in the world around us. It was so beautiful to be in touch with that feeling of falling in love – what a light-giving energy to bring to life. It struck me that the key was slowness, and stillness, and following the instructions to focus one item at the time, before finishing with it and more on to the next. I chose to look at other things, but my knitting was sitting right next to me, in the corner of my peripheral vision. I wrote this poem on the tea break, just trying to capture some of the thoughts and feelings that came spilling out.