Keeping Time

leaves october 22 2014
On Wednesday, I braced myself for the moment of truth–soon I would know whether the knit to the sea would end this year, or whether it would continue in next Spring…Strong winds had blown autumn leaves against E.’s gate, creating a wonderful temporal sculpture that stood up by itself after I opened the gate and tiptoed through.  I have been storing the knit line in the back under an eave ever since E. mentioned that there was a damp odor emanating from it.  It was wet and dirty from the recent knit in the rain as I started unwinding it down the hill.  Passing St. James church at 14th, I snapped a photo of orange plastic bollards like an installation of giant needles.  It reminded me of these sculptures on the right by Louise Bourgeois whose work was inspired by her father, a tapestry weaver:

I continued down the hill reveling in the blue sky and the singing colors of the leaves.  At the corner of 11th and Taylor, a woman, smiling approached, introduced herself as “Bobby” and said, “You are almost there!”  She had read about me in a paper.

I carefully crossed the busy street, making sure to pull the line only when cars weren’t going over it.  The line was much skinnier in the early months of the project…The lean years and the fat years, I mused.  And it really feels true–my life has become so much more abundant in the last year with the things that truly matter–meaningful work, self-acceptance, friendship, love.

Now I started down the steps watching my supply of knit line and still holding out a hope that it would take me all the way to the end of the dock.  Alas, it petered out shortly after I started down the boardwalk.

October 22

For some reason, I wasn’t surprised or devastated.  I snapped a photograph and began rewinding the line.  That settles it, I’m in for another month or more of knitting–next year.  Besides Spring will be a much more inspiring time to celebrate, and it is when the project began.  Full circle.  In my end is my beginning.

And I need the project to continue.  I have not learned my lesson.  I am still impatient.  I am still a person who wants everything too much, now and in my own way.  Someone told me in a dream recently that “rushing is diabolical.”  I agree…my impatience is a smokescreen for fear, my lack of faith.  I grasp, I cling, I strain myself to the breaking point because I do not yet deeply believe that all that I need for my deepest happiness will be given, and in good time.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens: 
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot, 
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.  (Ecclesiastes 3)

The main question then that I must ask ourselves continually is, what time is it right now?  What is the right response to the circumstances that I and my loved ones face in this moment?  I must become a skillful interpreter of the time, a dancer, rather than a passive spectator.  And so I sit here, breathing deeply after a few cups of Dragonwell tea and the tinkling of the keys, happy in the awareness that it is time to let the knitting needles rest for a while…

Please note that though I have decided to stop knitting for the year, the blogging will continue at a slower pace (approximately once per week.)  I’ll share insights, highlights, and any other light that comes my way with you.  Happy Autumn!  Thank you for journeying with me.

october 22 2014


4 thoughts on “Keeping Time

  1. Renee says:

    Personally, I think clinging, grasping, those are basically human traits, born of the need for survival. Of course fear drives us. We have needs; food, shelter, acceptance, love. Those who no longer grasp, they are to be admired of course. I think the best we can do, unless we move to a monastery, is mitigate the grasping. Even mitigation is a victory at least for me. Also, I think with time, we grasp a little less, or at least I know I do. Some (not all) things that used to be crucial to me, are not so crucial any more. Other things become more important, like non-grasping.

  2. Cheryl says:

    I love of photos you took while laying out the line. It has indeed come a long way. Who knew you would meet so many people and make new friends while on this adventure.

  3. Kim says:

    Oh, my, are you planning to learn patience by next spring? I am not sure I will have gained patience in all its grace by the time I am an old lady. But maybe we will all be further along in the journey as we travel our personal roads–of knit-line-to-the-sea, child-raising, falling in love, nursing the sick, writing a book, or just waiting on promises not yet fulfilled. It is good too to expect and hope for goodness.
    What WILL you do with yourself over the winter? 🙂 So glad you’ll still be writing, dear!

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