Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mixed Motives

WIP: Mixed MotivesJust over a week ago, I found out from a friend that she has brain cancer. When I first saw the news, the only way to describe how I felt was mentally winded. My mind had all of its processing power knocked out of it and for the next hour, I lost my ability to really do anything. I wasn't reacting. I wasn't working. I wasn't feeling.

Once I got over the shock, I was still at a loss for what to do. We are not close enough both physically or as friends that she really needs my help. If she had come to visit NYC, I would have dropped everything to spend the time with her, and I'd do the same if she needed me to come be with her now. She doesn't though. She has a great support group, and it sounds like she is doing a great job of taking care of herself. Knowing that, I did what I could. I pulled the softest most colorful yarn out of my stash and cast on.

I've been knitting nonstop in this project and with every stitch, I've been thinking of her. Each of the last minute late night perfectionist changes we made to our final paper in grad school. Every single stair that we climbed in Paris. The discussions from our counseling class. The moments we should have spent together that I skipped out on. Each bright color that passed through my fingers reminded me of how vibrant she is.

WIP: Mixed MotivesI never backed away to look at this project. I just kept stitching and looking at it one loop of yarn at a time. I'm not certain if I've been infusing the memories into or drawing them out of this project. Now that I am casting off, and looking at it with a just a little bit of distance, I think my motives may have been lost.  I wanted to create some comfort for my friend Danielle. I wanted to knit up the hug that I am not nearby to give.

Now, I am questioning what I had intended based on what I have accomplished. I look at the colors together and see that their combined brightness has made a dark shawl.   This yarn served me perfectly one stitch at a time, but I don't know that she'll see the beauty in it that I did. The more I look at it, the more I see a project that I would have made for me and not a non-knitter. I am often a problem solver, driven to help whenever I see an issue. There is nothing that I can do to cure cancer, and I think that this was my answer. I couldn't fix anything, so I created a project that I could do in order to allow myself to cope. I am confident that this shawl will still work to warm chilled shoulders. Hopefully she will still find the intended comfort and this will bring her some of the peace it has brought me.


laura said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. I completely understand your actions though--this is how we express our love

Amanda D Allen said...

Thanks, I hope this shows my love. She is an incredible person, and I would never want anything horrible to happen to her. I think she's got the strength for it though.