A woman stopped to talk today with her blond cocker spaniel. She asked what I would do with the half-mile knit ball of line once the project was done. I told her I would probably transform it into a new artwork. She said that with all the time and energy that I had put into it, it had value in and of itself, that it ought to be preserved in a museum. I said that to most people it would probably look like just a ball of rope, unless they knew the inside story. She said that if I left the knitting needles attached it would raise questions in people’s mind as to why anyone would knit a line that long. I told her I was hoping to connect to something bigger than myself. She told me her kids thought I was crazy. How old are they? I asked. “12 and 16,” she replied. I said, “Ah yes, I was cynical in my teens. I had very little sense of humor back then.” I told her I too had thought my parents were crazy when I was a teen–and I still find them eccentric. She said it was a good thing, because they had given the world an eccentric daughter. She said that even though her kids think she’s crazy, they still love her.
The jeweler’s parents and their friends stopped by on a walk. The mom asked me what would happen when the knit line gets to the ocean. I told her I want to have a bucket line of friends and neighbors pass the ball of knitting down the hill all the way from the bench to the ocean. The closing act will bring everyone together in an extravagant outpouring of love and community! At least, that’s how I’m picturing it, and things rarely turn out the way I envision. She said that when the line touches the ocean, it will draw the water up due to capillary action.
M. the jazz guitarist and singer came by and sat with me. It’s his birthday today, and he is tired from a fantastic party and jogathon with his son on Whidbey Island. I could feel the vibrations of his golden voice in the back of the bench. By the end of my two hour knit, we could see the tops of the San Juan islands like ribbons suspended over the fog.