My mom has always been a knitter. My grandmother before her. She taught me to knit at a young age, but I haven't done it for years.
During our stay in Baltimore, I ended up at a lovely little knit shop in Fell's Point. I don't even remember the circumstances of how I got there, but it was just what I needed. Something to pass the time in the hospital. Something to do late at night when I couldn't sleep. Something I could see growing due to my efforts.
This little knit shop was so intriguing--like the setting for a wandering independent film. The proprietor is a former nun, now on her second husband. The last day I remember spending time in a group, I almost stepped on the seeing eye dog who was lying on the floor next to the blind man, sat next to the young attractive gay man munching on his Whole Foods salad, and chatted with several lovely retired ladies. A motley crew, indeed. Sister Lorraine (as we affectionately referred to her) talked one day about how knitting was like saying the rosary, in the repetition and rhythmicity.
I'm not a person of faith. I don't pray. I've been very reluctant to bring this up on the blog, for a number of reasons, but I'm guessing that it's fairly obvious. Most religious people would have mentioned god somewhere in 9 months of cancer treatment for their son.
But I understand religion. I respect faith, and prayer, and what it means to other people. There's been more than once that I wished I was one of those people, but I'm just not. I've never been able to meditate either, at least not formally. I think I'm too lazy, my mind too undisciplined to really focus on it.
But knitting has worked for me. It keeps my mind, my conscious mind, busy enough to let me listen to what's going on under the surface. I think of my thoughts like a movie on a screen, and when I'm knitting I can be in the little projector room. The movie is still playing, but I able to focus on the behind-the-scenes processing. And sometimes, I can begin to get a layer even deeper than the projector room.
Without knowing, I'm guessing that's what a lot of people gain from prayer and meditation. I'm knitting my rosary.