The tragic events in Newtown, CT have left my mind a flurry of thoughts and emotions. I look at my kids and want to lock them in their room playing with blocks and doing puzzles for the rest of their lives. I get frustrated by the constant barrage of explanations that pop up on Facebook. I find it difficult to focus on work as I search for meaning in what I do. I just want my mind to stop.
This is where knitting and running collide. To stop my mind, I can go for a run. The rhythmic pounding of my feet and gasping for air slow my thoughts down. The emotions pour out of my body as I sweat. I come back a calmer person. But, I can’t always go for a run. For instance, when the kids are napping and my husband is out. I really don’t want children’s services to come take them from me as I explain, “But, I really needed to clear my head.” And, I don’t have a treadmill.
So I knit. I learned from my sister who learned from our grandmother who learned as a young girl in Ireland. Knitting reminds me of her (Grandma). The way her arthritic hands worked the needles so gently. Seeing the yarn wrapped around her fingers, moving without looking at her work. Hearing the needles click together.
Knitting is also rhythmic. It soothes my mind and forces me to focus on the simple task of counting. My emotions are released with each stitch. I wonder if the recipient of my finished product can feel what I felt as I wrapped the yarn around bamboo needles. Probably not, but when I see the hand-knit item I remember making it and some of the emotions I left behind.