I knit a lot. I love knitting because it combines some of my favorite things, like colour, pattern and hand-crafting. I like the slow pace of it, and how I can see constant progress. And there’s a beginning and an end. In the past I struggled a lot with finishing my projects, because I thought the fun part was to start a new project. Eventually I started seeing the beauty of finishing things and celebrating. We seldom get to do that in this modern world – there’s often no difference between weekdays and weekends, shops are open at all times and the entertainment on TV & the internet never ends. Most jobs are just ongoing, and there is no end to our work, nowhere to feel that we are done and that we did a great job. That’s where knitting comes in…
I often miss the time when I grew up and there was a limited amount of entertainment and the shops were closed on Christmas Day and other holidays – that gave us time to reflect and be bored and develop our inside in contrast to always seeking outside stimulation. When we do look for outside sources, it’s also very easy to get caught up in what other people think about us and to get stuck in our own image. We start to believe that what is outside of us is what counts. We start to neglect our own feelings of emptiness, or to stuff them down with more entertainment.
But one day we have to stop running. One day life catches up with us and we realise that this is not enough. There’s got to be more. There’s got to be more meaning to life than scrolling on our phones…
To create a more meaningful life we’ve got to silence the outer world and make our inner world be more important, more powerful, and take up more space & time. We’ve got to look at what we don’t want to look at – the things that make us scared of the silence and the emptiness that is left when we turn off our phones & computers. What remains when there’s nothing distracting you from yourself…?
I always come back to expressing myself through textile in one way or another. Knitting is my favorite, but I also love making quilts and crazy outfits. And I love reading books. Real books that you can touch. I used to have so much respect for books, but then I started to embrace them in a new way, and allowed myself to underline things in them that I liked. That really improved my reading experience, because it allowed me to go back and have a quick look through the book and remind myself what it was I enjoyed. I can’t do that if I read books online. And when we read online, there’s always the risk of getting a notification, which completely breaks up the me-time, the silence of the outer world. You might say that books also keep you entertained, but my answer is that they make you create images in your mind, so they actually help you develop your imagination – and you learn new things from them, so they broaden your mind.
I also love my piano. When I was a teenager and severely bullied in school, my piano was what saved me. I played for hours and hours every day. Nowadays I don’t play as much, but from time to time I very much enjoy expressing myself through music. It closes the door to the outside world and all that is in my awareness is the music. A really lovely feeling.
What is your way of expressing yourself? How do you communicate with your inside? I would love to read all about it in the comments!