Seems strange that I should have to explain to someone who thinks I should simply “shut up and write about knitting,” that I’m a memoirist, an essayist. I observe, experience, live, die little deaths and write about them. I have to be honest about those moments, about those reflections, no matter how horrid my soul staring back at me in the shape of words may feel. If I didn’t, I’d lose the spark, the igniting desire to share one simple man’s life with a grander audience. I love that gelignite, because I get the chance that so few truly are blessed with: I get to connect, not only with many of you, but with myself. I get to hear things that are drowned out by a bustling world, too busy with its own narcissism to hear itself yell. And every time I sit down to write I find that I’m still a student of this particular craft.
I’ve always done things my own way and have always challenged the idea that you should “do one thing and do it better than everyone else.” I chant to the mantra of, “doing many things and doing them differently than everyone else.”
I’ve always been on the edges of the knitting community, the odd cult hero, the bootleg tape you share with your friends, the song at a cavernous club you’ve spent all night waiting to hear and find yourself the only one dancing to…..but with glee. I’m the punk stage diver who leaps with enthusiasm hoping someone will be there to roll him through the crowd, the bearded sage on a mountain top that exclaims with irony, “If you want to learn to knit, you’re going to have to put those needles down and live first. Because everything that is born of your yarn is a reflection of the life you are, or are not, living….” I’m the kinetic flame thrower, but also the monk who can convince you of the importance of inertia.
I don’t have followers. I have readers who are leaders in their own right.
So, I said some things on Facebook this weekend that people hated. I’m ok with that. You may think it damning of me, but I’m precisely the observer that I should be, reporting back what some may find hellish, what others may find noble. The older I get, the more comfortable I feel in my own skin. Heading towards 50, I find that the same reasonable questions to pose upon society are still as valid now as they were when I was an idyllic 20 something. Except my ideas of “anti-establishment,” “free thinking,” and “not needing validation” have simply dug in their heels.
You have to live your life to fullest of its honest observations, you have to sing them, slam a stand up bass with a middle finger with them….stage dive with glee. I could change who I am and ohhhh, if I did can you imagine what I would have accomplished by now? Oh, you would have been impressed. Endorsements, contracts, cable shows…..
I could change who I am….but, I do so adore this skin I’m in and how it embraces impact over impression.
No apologies from me today, nor for me. I’m happy with the delicate dance around madness in which I write, the aggressive imposition of beauty I describe, and the spotlight I shine brightly on the multi facets of who I am.
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