Sometimes when you're performing in a play, you get so close to the script that you forget what parts of it are funny. Then opening night comes along, the audience laughs at something, and you have the chance to see the play anew, in the eyes of the audience. I always found this to be immensely gratifying.
Sometimes with knitting, too, you get to be so close to it that you forget the inherent magic. It's sometimes too easy to forget that a piece of yarn plus a million tiny stitches can be put together to make something beautiful. It can be simple, but it is still a fascinating journey.
A few months ago, I was working on making a snake. It was a pretty easy project for me, and I wasn't giving it much thought, attention, or love. And then a five-year-old girl reminded me that even this simple project can hold a lot of magic. She was enamored; with the snake, with the knitting, with it all. It was a good reminder to appreciate even those simple knitting projects and to remember that things don't have to be over-the-top to be appreciated.
On the flip side, it's sometimes surprising what doesn't get appreciated. When I was rehearsing for The Marriage of Bette and Boo, there was one scene that we could never get through without laughing. The guy who played Bette's dad resorted to putting on an ipod so that he could drown out the dialogue and keep himself from laughing.
But then opening night came and no one laughed at the scene. That dead silence was sobering and dried up any urge we had to laugh over our lines.
On the knitting side of things, I was once making mittens. And these were (in my opinion) amazing mittens. I think they were my favorite project. They were cabley and complicated and required charts. I was knitting them in the airport, when a man started talking to me about them. Then he asked me if I had just learned how to knit. And he asked it in such a way as to imply that this must be a simple, nonchalant, throw-away project. And I wanted to say, no! Look at these! These are cabley and complicated and require charts! These are beautiful and there is no way that I just learned how to knit. Why don't you see this knitting in the same way that I do?
It's interesting to me that people can have such different perspectives; on theatre, knitting, and life in general. I like to think that knitting can tell a different story to each person who sees it, and I think I will try to focus on those stories that bring the most joy and magic back into my life.
Sometimes we forget that the simplest of things are the most beautiful.
PS. I think you should make some natural nativity. Those patterns do look amazing, but so far, I have found them to be pretty simple in design.
PPS. I look forward to seeing your bird creations.