Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Velveteen Hare(lot)

I’ve been trying to come up with additional words to describe what I took away from the bookbookbook reading last night, and everything I come up with doesn’t seem to fit. There have only been a few other times when I’ve had the pleasure of being in a group of people who knit, and each time I leave the experience thinking about how great it was, and how addictive it could be. I knit for myself, but it’s nice to be surrounded by people who “get it.”

One of my all time favorite stories is that of the Velveteen Rabbit. The boy in the nursery loves and plays with the rabbit, and as a result he looses some fur, his stuffing begins to pop through and he shows wear and tear from the adventures. When he is discovered by the “real” rabbits he feels inadequate, and as a result wants to become real.

This is a quote from “Simple Abundance; A Daybook of Comfort and Joy” that is written by Sarah Ban Breathnach, and it beautifully sums up the message of becoming real:

“…In order for toys to become Real, they must be loved by a child. In order for us to become Real, we must become lovers of real life in all its complexity and uncertainty. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, we long to become Real, to know what authenticity feels like. Sometimes this hurts. The thought of loosing our whiskers and having our tail come unsewn is frightening. In a world that judges by appearances, it’s embarrassing having all the pink rubbed off your nose. The Velveteen Rabbit isn’t alone in wishing to become Real without any uncomfortable or unpleasant things happening.
One of the ways that we become Real without too much discomfort is by growing gradually into our authenticity. As you learn to acknowledge, accept, and appreciate what it is that makes you different from all the other toys in the cupboard, the process begins. As you learn to trust the wisdom of your heart and make creative choices based on what you know is right for you, process becomes progress. …You become not only Real to those who know and love you, but Real to everyone. You become authentic.” (copyright 1995)

With that in mind, last night I saw a glimpse of authenticity. Stephanie spoke from her soul, and though most of what she said had me laughing out loud, it was also profound in a way that someone who knits can appreciate. She spoke of how she is using the “promote the book” tour as a way to meet knitters, and how much fun it is. People who knit aren’t always able to say why they do it, and unlike some things that people do, we aren’t forcing ourselves to knit.

When she spoke of using the work “knitting” as an adjective it fit! She is knitting, as were many people there last night. (I am a firm believer that almost any work can be used to describe something and in our family I call it “verbing.” It started when things like being “squirreled” happened when I woke up and saw that a squirrel and come in through my open window and was stuck in my room. Thus I also like the idea of “adjectiving” and will try and use “knitting” again in the future.)

I’m grateful to the members of the knitting community; I can accept those who use fibers I’d rather not use, and those who are product knitters and process knitters. We’re a diverse group, and I’ve learned a lot from you.

(if Stephanie aka The Harlot is going to be anywhere near you I recommend taking the trip to see her; she is downright hilarious, and it’s truly a “real” experience.)

(the acls class today was brutal and I know have to go review a million algorithms so I can recall them without thinking tomorrow when I'm grilled by the testers. I know that reviving people is improtant, but my motivation is missing in action......)


Blogger bethanie said...

I too totally love the concept of creating words to form verbs and adjectives. Things like:
I googled this
I ebayed this
I photoshopped this

It's fun to watch language exapand and change.

7:31 AM  
Anonymous Laurie said...

That quote is excellent.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's wonderful to hear someone write about what I'm feeling. Thank you for appreciating the sentiment.



9:03 AM  

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