Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Coming Unspun

Recently, I've been systematically destroying a sweater I knit last winter.

In knit-speak, such wanton unraveling is known as frogging, because you "rip-it, rip it" (ah, knitting humor) until your faulty project is yarn again. It's a cute name for what can be a painful process-- all that work, hope, inspiration, and time unraveling like it never existed. I first condemned the sweater to frogging back in January and only now, in May, have I executed the sentence. It took me that long to get the nerve.

But about one sleeve and half a torso into the deconstruction, I realized something. The whole process didn't pinch nearly as much as I thought it would. I was actually finding something relaxing, deeply satisfying-- even fun-- at watching my hopelessly mucked-up sweater transformed back into soft gray skeins of woolly potential. I could make anything from the reclaimed yarn, and my next sweater would be even truer to my vision because I knew what didn't work.

Lucky for me, last night was a two-for-one special on epiphanies because I've been struggling with something very similar concerning my writing.

Over the past months, I've been re-examining my long-held writing goals and aspirations in light of my real-world responsibilities. I have a daughter who's almost two and insatiably curious, a house that refuses to keep itself clean of its own accord, and still only twenty-four hours in a day. Fifteen, really, because my intelligence and creativity nosedives after nine p.m. My previous vision of my writing just doesn't fit anymore; like my poor, malformed sweater, it isn't functional for my current needs.

So I'm unraveling it too.
Slowly, with a grimace, I've been taking apart my preconceptions of what writing should mean for me right now. Now probably isn't the time to write my masterpiece of American literature, or try to launch my grandiose writing career. I really don't know if I should even worry about submitting at all at this point. I'm breaking my dreams down to raw material-- a love of words and their
possibilities-- and finding joy just in exploring that richness. Just like with frogging my sweater, I've discovered there is a satisfaction, even a peace, at transforming my writing from a frustrated mess to a ball of potential.

I can write anything from here. I could even write nothing and my words, my story-children, would still be there waiting when I came back.

Here's to coming unspun. In our knitting and in our lives, sometimes it's exactly what we need.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Freewrite No. 2

I like walking in the early morning
when the sun is fresh and the breeze cool,
when the humidity is not yet sticking to my face and arms like flypaper,
I like passing coin laundries and coffee shops, watching the
big money people drop their dogs at daycare, watching the
pocket-change people wait for the bus.
I like the smell of honeysuckle and the exasperated horns of the morning traffic
to which I am immune with my stroller and tennis shoe freedom
I like my daughter's bare feet and pink toes
and the entire day stretching before us, like the sidewalk,
one uncluttered line of potential not yet criss-crossed with detours and regrets.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

And Yet Another One...

You Are Teal Green

You are a one of a kind, original person. There's no one even close to being like you.

Expressive and creative, you have a knack for making the impossible possible.

While you are a bit offbeat, you don't scare people away with your quirks.

Your warm personality nicely counteracts and strange habits you may have.

Random Quiz Results

Admit it, you all love the occasional online introspection and amateur head-shrinking all at the click of a mouse.

Apparently, I am

Your Thinking is Abstract and Random

You are flexible, adaptable, and creative.

There's many ways that you can learn - and you're up for any of them.

You relate well to other people, and you do well working in groups.

You can help people communicate together and work with each other's strengths.

You don't work well with people who are competitive or adversarial.

You prefer to work toward a common goal... not toward conflicting goals.