I’m trying to knit a sweater with the little experience I have in being able to create anything more than haphazard rows of straight lines. We’ll see how this goes. I found the perfect color of yarn and have just the right amount to make what will in no doubt be my masterpiece. People will surely compliment all the hard work I’ll put in to this. Perhaps others will request that I make a sweater for them. Won’t that be fun?
Here I go. I’m following the booklet and think I’ve got this down. This is looking great so far! Then I reach my first roadblock: a series of knotted strands that are feet long. It will take forever to get all those knots out. I don’t have time for this! I know, I’ll walk to the closest craft store and see if they have any more skeins I can buy.
Shoot. The color of yarn that I have is discontinued, no longer manufactured. I explain my problem to the cashier. All I get in return was blank stares. But a lovely (sarcasm noted) yarn sales rep overhears my predicament and begins to describe the process of how the wool is gathered, spun and dyed in order to produce the yarn I wanted to buy but could not provide. Granted, what he is saying is interesting but of no help to me at all. I did learn a LOT about yarn that I didn’t know about yesterday.
So I visit my grandmother at the local nursing home to see if she could help. She is a comfort for sure, offering to stuff me full of cookies and listens very intently. Her presence is relaxing but she also doesn’t have the yarn I need, nor can her arthritic hands help me undo any of the knots. But I don’t regret the visit at all. I leave encouraged.
Upon my return home, I glance over at the ball of knots that I had previously hoped would have been turned into my glorious sweater. I sit down and slowly try to imagine a possible solution. How in the world did this yarn get so knotted anyway? After, all I haven’t attempted to knit in years! This yarn has just been sitting in my craft basket by the couch doing nothing. Wait, now I remember. My last attempt at knitting (years ago) ended in me throwing the skeins against the wall in frustration, kicking it around the room and then shoving everything back in the craft basket, knitting needles askew. Eventually I stacked magazines, remote controls and cat toys on top, leaving the yarn’s potential forgotten. WHY DID I DO THAT? Why didn’t I take better care of it?
And so it is with our emotions and our lives. It is so easy to forget how to take care of you, to take the gift of our own life for granted. We occupy our time with distractions, forget how to progress and heal from trauma until its time for us to forge a new path in our lives, a new direction, a new landmark. But its too late to know how to successfully do it; we are vastly unprepared. So we venture into new life experience with the little knowledge we have. And we cope the best we know how. But roadblocks seem like brick walls and we often have to backtrack and relearn.
We reach out to others for help, others who mean well and can offer up all that they know (remember the yarn salesman and the grandmother?). They provide us with useful information and comfort, but they can’t solve the problem. We may even reach out to someone for help who has no idea of what to do (the cashier). This isn’t to say that reaching out doesn’t provide us with help, only that they cannot solve the problem.
Just as the knots in the yarn didn’t appear out of the blue, your solution to the problem will not be instantaneous. Ultimately, you have to go back to the yarn. You can’t go the shortcut route and buy new yarn at this point. You’ve passed the point of no return. You also can’t just cut up the yarn and give up; the sweater has to be made.
Carefully, slowly and intently, do your best to untie the knots. Your sweater may come out a little more frayed than you imagined, but nonetheless you’ll still have a work of art that you can call your own.