This small person learned a big lesson this Sunday past. We Panera ladies had been talking about women and textiles, how collectively we felt connected to women who had gone before as knitters, seamstresses, weavers, and how fortunate we are to be able to do these things for enjoyment and meditation instead of necessity. We always invite people to join the Panera group.
This week, a newbie came (YAY!)for knitting guidance. Since she sat next to me,
(I knit Continental. I have to - not only is that the way my mother taught me, the way the old ladies from Eastern Europe taught her, but I'm also hopelessly directionally-challenged. Tell me to wrap yarn clockwise or widdershins and my brain cuts out. Tell me to "scoop" and I'm fine.)
She soon was frustrated. I might be a terrible teacher, but I also can sense when something is just not happening. I would guide her hands, or hold the yarn, or talk her through, stitch-by-stitch, but - it just was not happening, despite her fervent desire to learn. Her hands were not cooperating.
Then quirky artist Amy realized what was awry. Amy can knit Continental, she can knit English, she can knit spiderweb yarn that she has spun into her sister's wedding shawl, and she can teach knitting really, really well. Amy realized that our new friend's hands wanted something else. As soon as Amy switched her from Continental to English, presto! Happy hands! She started knitting smoothly and evenly, and she started smiling. We all applauded - truly, it was a wonderful moment.
(Something similar happened when the Tsarina taught me to use a drop spindle - my hands knew that they needed to reverse the directions my guru was teaching.) (You can read the story here.)
I love moments like this, moments when a barrier is eliminated by honoring how many paths can lead to the same place. It's something I know, philosophically, but I'm not good at watching for it in daily life. Pay attention to the path and the destination will take care of itself, yes? Trust the process.