Saturday, 30 January 2010
Knitting as therapy
My latest creation, I think knitting is my solace, whereby I can create to my own desire. It is a comfort to me, especially when my mind is stressed out by dissertation deadlines. It also keeps me warm serving not only a practical purpose but also a creative one, whilst helping me feel that I am keeping a traditional skill alive.
This is somtheing that I discussed within my dissertation in far greater detail, examining the idea of it being used as therapy, or as a way of bringing communites back together once more (also discussing how the loss of knitting was due to the knowledge not being passed along the generations anymore for a variety of reasons). There was an interesting poem I came across by the first Welsh Poet Laureate (2006) Gwyneth Lewis (this was featured on a series of programmes broadcast on BBC Radio4 about knitting- entitled "How to knit a poem") -
A day of wordless misery,
thorns in the heart
that refuse to budge.
No matter, I’m keeping company
with myself, though hurting,
redeeming time that was torturing me.
My grandmother’s craftwork,
I suddenly see, was self-medication,
her fanciest knitwear
a stance against melancholy.
This pattern wants only rhythm from me:
no judging, no knowing,
just moving on
into a future. I’m working three
axels. First a new personality
Made from my patience.
Second, a scarf
composed in calm,
a respite from my usual self-harm.
The third is my finest.
Look! I’ve unpicked
myself from my worry, a delicate stitch
into the present. No one can see
this last. Mindfulness charges the air,
arrays me in intricate gossamer.