Monday, March 6, 2017

In Circle Out, In Circle Out

As I write this (Saturday) I am dealing with anxiety. Anxiety over a move to a place where I currently have no home or job. When is the best time to go out and find a place to live? How do I begin to find work? What if I run out of money? Will I have to live in a cardboard box and fight rats over the scraps behind restaurants?

Anxiety over the actual move. What to throw out, what to keep, when do I rent a truck, what do I do with my stuff? Anxiety over cleaning. I hate cleaning.

Mostly today, I am anxious over a play.

The play I have been directing for the past couple of months opens tonight.

I never feel this anxiety when I'm performing. But I'm not performing. My performance is done. The rest is up to the actors and technical people. I have no more control.

As an actor I have felt the adrenaline rush. I get to go on stage and have fun. I have control over how I will play my part, how I will react, if something goes wrong, I can do something to save it. I can feel the energy from the audience and my fellow actors, and read their reactions and take my bows.

As a director, there's none of that. I can only sit in the audience and watch. If they fall I can't rescue them. If mistakes are made, I can only hope that they'll cover them. If I've directed them one way, they still have the option to do it a different way.  If they are wildly brilliant, it's because they are wildly brilliant. It is all in their hands now. I have no control. I have to completely trust them. I have no reason not to trust them and I do, but it doesn't ease this anxiety to know this. It just is.

It's like parenting. You guide them, direct them, and then let them go, biting your nails and hoping that in spite of mistakes, and there will be mistakes, everything will turn out well anyway. If they are successful it is their success. If they fail it feels like your failure, even if it isn't. It is beyond your control.

There's something soothing about knitting. You are always in control. You choose the yarn, and how much you want to spend. You choose your pattern. You choose your tools.  You decide when to knit and for how long. The repetition of the needles is like meditation. In circle out, in circle out, in circle out. Your knitting gradually grows, taking shape, becoming something more than string. The clicking of the needles create rhythm. There is harmony between you and the yarn and the motions. You begin to understand how the pattern works. In circle out, in circle out. You may be watching TV or listening to music or a podcast. Perhaps you're praying or planning or problem solving as you in circle out, in circle out.

If you make a mistake - and you will, you have options. Do I ignore it and carry on as if it isn't there? Do I decide to like it and repeat it throughout the piece, making it a design element? Do I fix it right here? Is it a quick little fix or major surgery? If it's major surgery can I perform it? Do I unknit it back? Or do I rip it out back to the problem knowing that I risk losing stitches? Do I rip it back all the way to the beginning and start again? Or do I decide to rip it back and abandon the project and use the yarn for something else? Do I just stuff the project in a corner to deal with later or not at all? Or do I do as a friend does, burn it or throw the whole thing out or give it away?

What you decide in the end really doesn't matter. The world is not watching you. The world doesn't care. They haven't paid good money on tickets, babysitters, dinner and gas, got dressed up, and driven in a storm to come watch your work. They probably haven't hired you to do this. Neither your worth as a human being nor your pocket book is based on your knitting abilities. If you fail, that's only between you and no one, because even God has better things to do than worry about whether your lace is perfect and your socks match up.

In a world where we are constantly measured and judged through work, school, community, parenting, relationships, our bodies, athletics, driving, our homes and pretty much everything we do, it's nice to have something where the only judge is us.

In circle out. In circle out. In circle out.

75% OFF

60% Superwash Wool, 40% Acrylic
100 g/200 m DK (3)

Regular Price: $9.00
Sale Price: $2.25

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who is in circling out as she deals with anxiety and the fear of the unknown). 

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