Socked In

by knittinginatree

Although the sun is trying to creep in just now, we’ve been socked in for a couple days. No, I don’t mean the cozy knitted kind of socks, but the kind of socked in that keeps you from seeing far into the future. It can be concerning on a bike and probably in a car, but I don’t drive a car these days so I wouldn’t know… In general the weather has been making me step back and reflect a bit.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog and what I’m doing. Eventually I’m going to be merging it into wordpress, so hang tight while I figure out all the glitches. But, technology aside, I’ve also been thinking about the purpose of this blog. Today, I thought I would share a little bit more behind the scenes of knitting in a tree.

I don’t believe I’ve mentioned that I’m currently working on getting my masters in public health and there is a reason why I haven’t. Yes, it’s mainly for privacy purposes but it’s also because I need to keep these two threads–The MPH student and the aspiring Master knitter–separate for a while. Of course, I’m always juggling both in my mind and knitting helps me process what I’m learning as an MPH student but on here I need to focus on the part of life that is keeping me whole for now and that seems to be knitting and carving out a life with S where we both are at home and find joy.

When I finally decided to study public health I broke down in tears. Why? For several reasons, first I’m kind of a sap, second, I knew it’s what I had to do and third, because I knew that it would force me to engage with parts of myself and parts of humanity that I’ve been avoiding for a long time. So, what does this all mean? Ultimately, I’m so glad and grateful to be studying public health. I love learning and being part of a field that is progressively expanding ideas of health. But, when it comes down to it, everyday in my studies I’m learning that our hope for a better future coincides with stories that are too depressing to share on here. It’s not that they can’t be shared, it’s just that often times I’m not sure where to put them or what words to give them, so instead I pick up my needles and start knitting.

This week S and I went to hear Terry Tempest Williams speak. She once had a large presence in my life when I was in college. It was good to have the opportunity to hear her speak in person, and also interesting to recognize what has changed in me since college. Her words didn’t leave as strong of a hold as they did at 20. However, she still shared some nuggets of inspiration.

“Beauty is not optional. It is a strategy for survival. When we can work together as a whole community to make something beautiful…this is how healing can occur.”

For now, what I’m doing feels right, even though it might not be a full reflection of who I am and what we’re going through. For now, this is all I can give. Like Rumi says, “let the beauty you love be what you do.” Create and share your beauty with your community in the hope that healing can occur.

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