Putting Down Roots

November 21, 2010, 9:47 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’ve been unraveling a whole lot of unfinished knitting projects the past few days, winding the yarn into neat balls. I’ve been untangling knots in embroidery floss and pulling apart old pictures that have been stuck together. I’ve been making stacks of things: coats and blankets and warm things go to the shelter, craft items go to the assisted living home, books go to the library sale or the prison-books program. Old prom dresses go to the dress up box at camp. And there are smaller piles: washcloths that were hand-crocheted by an old family friend whom I had taught go to Libby’s collective house in Boston, old fabric goes to Emily, skirts get passed around to friends.

I’m in Massachusetts, packing up my father’s house, and starting with the things that I used to call my own. In the past, coming back to the place where I was surrounded by my old journals, souvenirs from high school, and the stuff of my father’s life jarred me back to a place where I felt the visceral helplessness and unsettledness again. I would refuse to come. Now, though, it’s easier. I can look on everything with a sense of detachment. I’m trucking things off to shelters and homes and feeling like I’m making some difference in dissembling what I wanted to leave behind. I’m unravelling the half-done scarves and socks that I knitted to keep myself busy during a time when I was impatiently biding my time before I could leave, and now I have left and come back. The unwinding is easier. The yarn looks so nice in its clear plastic box, ordered and put away. I’m moving on from where I had been, and it’s easier than I expected.


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