Jonathon's Closet

Monday, July 23, 2007

Bits and Pieces

A while back, in an effort to counteract the effects of rheumatoid arthritis, I decided to take up my old habit of crocheting. I pulled an old shoebox from the closet and began to retrain my hands using bits and pieces from this box of leftovers.

Quickly I realized that I didn’t have enough yarn for a project, and a few of my friends stepped in and offered me their leftovers too! Soon I had a small pile of yarn in all colors, and in varying amounts. I began to crochet all of these bits and pieces into granny squares.

The bits and pieces were predominately pastels. Many pinks, peaches, and lavenders were in the mix – not colors I would have chosen, had I handpicked them myself. But as I began to weave them together and combine them with some of my more “favored” colors, I grew to love the beauty of this soft rainbow.

I now have 70 granny squares, each surrounded by the color of Lake Michigan beach sand, waiting to be joined into a blanket. A blanket that will warm my family physically, but also warms my heart. In these squares, I see the beauty and personalities of so many of my friends.

Crocheting these granny squares has been both a labor of love and a measure of my tolerance for torture. Sure, my mind still fumbles occasionally as I attempt to recall the patterns that were taught to me as a child, leaving me momentarily lost and confused. But the real torture test is in my hands; hands which constantly scream out in pain, refusing to cooperate, and demanding the pampering of painkillers, wrist splints, and heat packs. Where crocheting once was a mindless activity, one where my hands worked swiftly and skillfully with the yarn, now it is a time-consuming painstaking process that requires much patience and determination as each stitch slowly forms with great effort often accompanied by tears.

As is my life. Circumstance dictates the necessity to make something from nothing, as there is nothing here now but the many “bits of yarn”, remnants left as evidence of a previous existence.

And the many leftovers – left from my life with him, other people’s cast-off’s, even the “leftovers” found in the scratch and dent bin at the supermarket – all combine together, sometimes so beautifully, to become this life that is now mine.


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