Looking Glass

Who feared, as hope’s flowers unfolded,
that blossoms might fade
with unseasonal change
and petals blow free down the wind?
Who dreamed, when love’s singing first started,
that melodies drifting
through dissonant chords
could keen like a nightbird’s last cry?
Who dared, with life’s dance just beginning,
to partner with fates
unaccustomed to grasp
at the swift, sudden stumbles of time?
Who wept, at the journey’s frail ending,
for the path never taken,
the compass unused,
the years still untrodden, untried?

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The Joys of Imperfection

It started with the left arm.  There was a dropped stitch, a slight irregularity in the smooth, sweet rhythm of the yarn.  The sweater-in-process, lovely and green, the color of wild asparagus, lay in pieces across the dining room table – its back, two arms and cabled front the eventual shape of loving, hand-knit warmth.

Still, that dropped stitch was causing consternation. Halfway up one sleeve,  it would have nestled into the bend of an elbow, barely detectable and probably unseen to even a well-trained eye until it began to pull apart.  But the knitter – proficient, quick, given to knitting argyles and Arans in darkened movie theatres – spotted it and felt it looming like an accusation.  “I’ll just unravel that sleeve and do it over,” she said. “It’ll take a little more time than picking up the stitch but after all – we want it to be perfect.”

With the sleeve unraveled and the yarn gently re-wound, she began to knit again. This time there were no dropped stitches, no errors, but a more subtle issue soon emerged. Intent on re-doing the sleeve perfectly, she may have been a little tense. While she knit, the tension worked its way through her hands, down the needles and into the yarn, making the stitches in the repaired sleeve noticeably tighter.  On a completed sweater the separation of the sleeves might have negated the difference in appearance. Side-by-side on the dining table, the variation was obvious. “Humph,” said the knitter, who had plenty of time and a tendency toward obsession. “I’ll just do that sleeve again.” Continue reading