Knitting Life Together
December 29th 2021
I woke this morning to a snowy Santa Fe. My bear hibernation instincts are in full swing. I am amazed over and over again, how I resist the quiet and darkness of this time year, while equally longing for it. It seems to be a bit harder to surrender this year. I’m nervous that we might be shut down, and I’m nervous about being isolated this winter.
In some ways facing into this winter feels similar to last year with the unknown of covid. It also feels different for me personally. Last year, I remember actual terror at the idea of being alone through the winter with my grief. I have moved with the grief, we’re in a different place now. I’ve danced, cried, written, drawn, hugged, walked, eaten, laughed, and talked my way through a lot . A lot of small pieces make up healing. I’ve always appreciated the metaphor of a quilt. This year I had a dream about a dear friend of mine Clare. I dreamt Clare was knitting a huge shawl, and in it were gems of all different sizes. If you know Clare, you know that she knits beautiful things, and she is also an extraordinary artist in a very humble way, and she is always making art of one kind or another. I am making a literal quilt at the moment. As I knit I feel very connected to Judy, who was also a knitter, and I am reminded how we make our lives one small piece at a time.
One of the most recent wise things I read about grief recently is that we miss the version of ourselves we were with the person who is gone. When I was with Melissa I felt like a more adventurous, living-from-my-dreams-kind-of-person. Now I am trying to figure out how to be more of that.
A friend gave me a wonderful book for Christmas, Finding My Way by Art -Drawing on the Dream by Denise Kester. Do you know that wonderful magic of when the right book comes at the right time? This book rocked my world. I love how she talks about the process of making art, the way she deals with self-doubt and her negative voices. And mostly this book got me on fire to make art. Images and colors danced in my mind.
I guess this is one sign that I am coming back to life, and living. I wish I was one of those people who had their life all mapped out in front of them. I’ve never been like that. I seem to be someone who can see just about as far as my high beams. I find myself often saying “Okay, I’m just going to make art for one more year, and see how it goes.” And now that has added up to twenty-six years. Right now I can see the next two months of wintertime gestation and creativity. I’ve got some images and colors that are asking to be born.
I feel visited by Melissa every time I find a feather. I now have this beautiful collection, which is more than the single parts.
Thinking of you all out there, knitting your creative life together, one feather, one sketch, one scribble at a time. I’ll be in my creative bear den for the next few months, but reach out send me a story, a photo, a poem, something that’s bringing You life and joy. I’d love to hear from you.
Be gentle with yourselves,
And don’t forget to ask for help.