Friday, November 6, 2009

Patience

“Patience”, my grandmother warned me, when after my n-th unsuccessful attempt at pushing the needle through the stitch, wrapping the wool around the needle, drawing the wool in and slipping the old stitch off, I was ready to throw the pair of knitting needles out of the window. “Knitting is a skill you learn for life. You can’t rush it.”
To be honest, she didn’t exactly use those words, but there was no ambiguity in the tone of her voice.
“Patience”, I muttered to myself, while I tried again. And since this is not a story, I did not succeed that time either. But I did, a couple of days later. And a couple of days after that, I was making knit stitches almost effortlessly. Learning to ‘purl’ was much easier than it had been to learn to ‘knit’, and before I knew it, a whole world of patterns had been laid open for me.

And my grandmother was right. Knitting is a skill I never forgot. My tension would remain inconsistent – sometimes my stitches were so tight, I could barely push the needle through, other times they would be so loose, sunlight could stream through the gaps – reflecting my current mood. But there was no pattern I could not tackle, no garment I could not do.
And yet, none of it would have happened had my grandmother not whispered that magic word in my ear- Patience. In life, as in knitting, patience is all we really need. Genuine patience.

Painting - Francoise Duparc (1726-78) Woman Knitting, n.d.

8 comments:

ladyfi said...

Patience... slowly learning the meaning of this word over here!

How's TED India going? Have you attended lectures? Hope to see you around sometime when you have a little more time?

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I love the *idea* of knitting and sewing. Unfortunately, I'm incredibly impatient and attempts at needlework have always ended in disaster.

I'm more patient with *people* now. But inanimate objects and I don't get along. :)

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Chary Johnson said...

Love the story, Rayna. I am very impatient when it comes to driving, knitting, shopping in a supermarket, etc.

However, when teaching students or at home with my own children, I have endless patience. I have no idea why? I guess that is just how my brain is programmed.

Love the lesson in this short work!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Fiona - I wish I could claim to be patient. But at least I am gradually understanding the need for patience.
TED is going on in Mysore- boss is naturally there, but it is too far away for me :-(

@ Elizabeth - I personally thing that being patient with people is more difficult.

@ Chary - and it is with my children that I am most impatient :-(
Rather, I am most intolerant of incompetance, and most demanding of my kids. Am really working on the latter, though.

dipali said...

One of the most under-rated yet necessary of virtues! In my case, taught to me by Life:)
Though it's still a work in progress.

Anil P said...

Patience is holding on to a kite in the sky while willing it to stay there.

And stitching must come close to it :-)

Watery Tart said...

Natasha, my twin... I am with you... I can be patient with Both tailes... tasks, for the most part are fine.. I can plug away and perservere... Traffic is okay too--it is completely out of my control, so why bother with impatience. But people are more difficult. I think actually, what I get frustrated with is their frustration. I happen to know if you just keep trying you will get there... so often they don't believe me, though. That is when I blow.

As for 'crafts'--I have the 'patience' but not necessarily the 'care'. I am a person who says "eh, close enough" too often, so I can sew blankets, christmas stockings, drapery... but not clothes... close enough only works hung on a wall, not fitted over a person.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ dipali - in my case, too, it is very much WIP. But the quest is good enough too, I think.

@ Anil - thanks for dropping by. I am not an avid kite flyer, and the only time I held the string, I was overcome with a sense of power. Incredible how that delicate piece of twig, twine and paper holds its own against the might of the four winds.
Maybe I should try flying a kite again, to see if I can grab a bit of what you say.

@ Tami - we are twins after all - the only thing I really get impatient with is people who don't seem to want to get it or get anywhere. Anything else I can deal with.
And I read you too on the difference between patience and care, though I never quite thought of it that way.

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