Tuesday, March 11, 2008

an inquiry into the nature of entertainment


It seems to me that there is a narrow category of activities deemed as ‘entertaining’ to which the populace adheres. Yet it is unclear to me yet what is on this list or why it persists. I told someone once with great enthusiasm that I had spent my Friday evening dying yarn, and the response I got was a funny look. Which I don’t entirely understand. Isn’t one of the greatest excitements to create? What a feeling of accomplishment to end with a tangible piece of craftsmanship—or better yet, a piece of artwork.

I should be studying for this test in organometallics, though I admit that my interest in the subject is close to zero. I’m afraid that no amount of motivation is going to get me to understand the random fiddling of metals and their ligands. I dream of yarn instead of equations and chemicals. It seems that more and more my weekends are being reduced from days into hours while I catch up on grading and assignments and reading papers. I suspect that you are even more in this position than I am. The smidgen of knitting that I have been able to work on lately has been stolen from class time.

So what would I do if I didn’t have exams? Or class? What will I do next week during spring break? (I was asked this question today) If I told the questioner that I was planning several knitting projects, would I receive another blank stare? And why?

In truth, there are many things I would love to do besides knitting but will most likely avoid doing. Having to drive three hours a day has turned me into a sort of hermit, avoiding all invitations to venture out. I had tickets to the Czech symphony in the city, but it was a Sunday performance. When it got to be the time to leave, I could in no way bear the thought of sitting in my car for that length of time when I had no real obligation to be anywhere but home. I did not go.

But that is somewhat off-track. Knitting can be a beautiful craft. I don’t know if you’ve been in a position like this, where you have been surprised by the way another person perceives you. I suspect you have. Perhaps in the minds of some it is still equated with pregnant women and grandmothers. But stigmas can change. For now, I will dream of yarn. And in the morning I will pick up my needles and proudly knit. And it will be good.


Amy said...

Just want to note that...oh. Whoops. I was going to say I've heard the Check symphony, but I haven't. I've heard the Slovak. In Slovakia.

Carry on.

Knit-Marie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Knit-Marie said...

I'm constantly getting blank stares or funny looks when I talk about my knitting. And if I let slip anything about my stash ( a modest one in my view) people can't believe their ears. THAT much yarn?? You'll never be able to use it all before you die. So what? It's there, looking soft and wonderful on my shelf.