2002-12-11 - 8:35 p.m.

I did something incredible over the past three days. I made a scarf. For hours and hours I sat on my couch, letting my hands take on an automatic rhythm and I just weaved and weaved the yarn into an eventual SOMETHING. My thoughts, my hopes, my dreams, all of those things went into the yarn and became locked within the magic web of the SOMETHING I finished. I somehow feel invincible now. I started with just a thin rope and diligently worked on and on until I finally reached that last stitch and found within my hands an actual scarf. Then I sat back and realized that all the manic anxiety I have had was gone. I had, by letting my hands slip into automatic, meditated my way through all the things in my head. I had relaxed, I had planned, I had somehow found a way. It seriously feels as though I have just gone on a totally kick ass journey. As much as I try to stay away from all things “girly”, I have to tell you that crocheting (or knitting or what have you) has got to be the best way to work through times of anxiety and unrest.

While I was busily making my scarf I was listening to old tapes, yes, TAPES. I had found this huge box of old tapes when I was digging through boxes looking for a crochet hook. Listening to these tapes I am astounded by how clear the memories from the time whichever tape I might have been listening to were. I listened to Brian Adams and I so vividly remember floating on blow up rafts in the dead center of the lake while my tape player blared Brian Adams from the anchored boat. My best friend Jill and I would row the boat into the middle of the lake every nice summer day we could, we would toss the anchor and then our rafts over board and then we would float for hours and hours in the deepest of water listening to music. There was something about that, about going to the middle of the lake, as far from every shore as we could and just letting the soft movement of the body of water lull us. We were two rather lost girls, just needing a moments peace, a moment to let us just be solitary and without any worry. When we would set off in the late morning we were full of excitement, an almost desperate need to get to the middle of the lake. And always, as we rowed back in, one oar in hand apiece, best friends whose movements were so synchronized that we could maneuver the boat without saying a word to one another, we would slip into a silent sort of resignation. We wouldn’t paddle as fast as we could, we would take our time going back to shore, sometimes rowing to a different shoreline and then following the coast around until we finally came to the shore we belonged on. We would slowly walk to the house, our bodies a little chilled suddenly, smelling of seaweed and fish and then we would shower and watch movies or call boys on the phone. So that’s where the Brian Adams took me, back to the middle of the lake, back to Jill.

Then there was Duran Duran. Summer of 1988. The summer before my freshman year started. I fell in love with a recently graduated boy who worked at the grocery store. Julie (my now stepmother who was then a 20 year old cashier at the same store and also dating my father) would give me all kinds of inside information on him. Though I was only 14 my father couldn’t say much about the age difference since he had a girlfriend who was some 16 years younger than he. Anyway, she told me the music he liked, she told me his favorite foods, the type of cologne he wore, his dogs name...everything she knew. Since I knew there was no way I would ever be able to attract this guy I pulled out every trick in my bag...I bought canvas sneakers and spent a day decorating them with his favorite bands names, I would go to the store and buy boxes and boxes of cereal (his favorite food), I wore my hair like Taylor Dane (the woman he found most attractive) and I always smiled at him. I listened to all the music he liked, memorized it. By the time he finally asked me out (at the homecoming dance he was DJ’ing) I was already a die hard Duran Duran fan. Our first date was the day that Big Thing was released. We went directly to the record store and waited patiently for them to put it on the shelves. And then we sat in his car, a baby blue Chevy something, holding hands and listening raptly to the entire tape. The very tape that I just hours ago listened to. Duran Duran and Gary Winton who just a few months later kicked up a rock while driving down a country road on his motorcycle and was struck in some obscure spot on his chest that made him die instantly.

But I had already dumped him at that point, for a guy that introduced me to the Scorpions. I listened to that tape too, remembering riding in Greg’s truck with Jill after school. The three of us would just drive and drive for hours, never really going anywhere, just looking. Seeing what was out there.

And now, all of this is knitted within my scarf. Years and years of memory folded within each stitch. And the rows I worked on without my tapes playing have all my anxiety locked within the stitches, row upon row of worry locked away and leading to the eventual end of the stitches, a place where I found everything back where it belonged. My goals are reawakened, my happiness is intact, my soul is calm. All because I let myself follow the path of stitches, of knotted and precise stitches to an end.



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