Yesterday, as I spent hours learning backwards knitting and improving my execution, row-upon-row, I was mulling over the idea of being patient with the process rather than racing to the product finish. I fell in love with this brilliant afghan on Knitty.com. As much as I love the look of the Kureyon yarn and its long color runs, I’m knitting mine in Millefili Fine by Filatura di Crosa, an Italian cotton available in a variety of rich jewel tones.
A good friend of mine describes her knitting self as a “Process Knitter”. She loves learning new techniques and is building her personal skill base with knowledge. She selects her projects carefully and with this ‘process rather than product’ as a guidepost.
The Jentel Artist Residency program out in the wide-open spaces of Wyoming offers artists four weeks to percolate, meditate, dabble, read, walk, whatever it takes to refuel their creative selves. There is no stipulation that an artist must produce while there. This speaks to an acknowledgement of the necessity for rest. In a world where it is increasingly difficult to find quiet — real quiet — I find this worthy of note. I am encouraged to build a mini-version of acceptance of quiet processing into my day-to-day life here in New Hampshire.
I am curious to discover what might come out of allowing myself to linger in the process for a while. I see it as floating on my back in the ocean or a lake, eyes closed and listening to the gulls and the sounds of the water lapping. Allowing the current to carry me. Or maybe my eyes are open and I’m one with the clouds in a summer-blue sky. It occurs to me that this is the growth and expansion that Julia Cameron guides us through in The Artist’s Way. Recognize the resistance. Breathe. Let it go. And continue to allow yourself to stay afloat.
I love to make things. Beautiful things. But I’m coming to terms with the notion of getting off the production train for a bit and wallowing in the learning, without getting focused on the end result too quickly. I fell off the Artist’s Way wagon a few months ago, leaving the final 3 chapters untouched. I think this is my call to return there and see what develops.