Friday, March 31, 2006
Some people ask how I, a practicing Catholic, feel about abortion. They often think I "support" abortion because I support a woman's right to choose. And I've explained it this way. Jesus, the original liberal, sat with sinners and tax collectors. He befriended everyone he could and his ministry is one of INclusion, not EXclusion. I am not perfect. I have made mistakes in my life. I have paid for some, and will undoubtedly pay for others as time goes on. I don't see myself as judge, jury and executioner. I have had friends who have had abortions, and they don't take the decision - or its consequences - lightly. They live with that EVERY day of their lives. My job, as a practicing Catholic, is to support and nurture my friends. It's to be there to discern with them where they should go. And to be there with them when they go - to metaphorically hold their hand. If a friend comes to me and says, "Look, I've decided to terminate this pregnancy," it is simply NOT my place to say to her, "You can't do that becuase you'll roast in the eternal flames forever." My job is to say, "Ok, have you thought out all your options? Do you want to talk through some of this?" And then be there for her when she does want to talk. Or accept that she doesn't. Does that make me an accomplice? No. It makes me available to her as a friend. She will, I assume, be living with this decision far more than I will. It seems to me that I can be more helpful to her if I can help discuss her options; and if I can be there for her when she needs me. This seems more Catholic than being the person who castigates her for her decision or who makes her feel that she's less than nothing for having made a very difficult choice. What if it's a friend who's using this as a convenience? Well, I don't know anyone like that. But if I did, yeah. I think - I KNOW - that I would say, "You know, I don't think you've thought this through; it seems to be a pattern here. Maybe you need to change some behaviors here and re-think this decision and your options." But ultimately, this is up to every woman and her God. Would I do this? Most likely not, being at the end of my fertile time. What about rape? Honestly, I can say that I do not know. How would it feel to carry a child who is conceived in violence, but is, in itself, an innocent byproduct of that violence. Do I have the ability to separate the child from the act - and then raise that child to be the best it can be? I don't know. Maybe I won't ever have to know. But I want to be able to think that I'm a compassionate human being. Made to be LIKE Christ, but not BE Christ. I am, after all, a PRACTICING Catholic. I've got a long way to go before my Catholicism is perfected.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Garter Stitch, that staple of knitters everywhere, makes a lovely piece of fabric. Except that it's mind-numbingly boring to do!! I'm working on a garter-stitch vest. You slip the first stitch of every row as if you're purling and then you knit. And knit. And knit. The panels for the vest are 36" each. There are two. Then you pick up the stitches for the bottom band. I'm using Wool-Ease (Lion Brand) in an oatmeal and a mushroom color. They will make up a nice vest that I can wear with anything. But it's mind-numbingly boring! This is my first "real" knitting project...my first project that will get me out of "scarf school" and promote me from a "facecloth freshman" to a "sweater sophomore." So I keep at it. Why does a person knit? Well, aside from its current popularity in the Hollywood set, I knit because it is very meditative. Kind of like a rosary but using yarn. It requires a certain level of concentration, much like yoga. And like yoga, once you find your rhythym, you breathe into the knitting. I can lose myself in needlework. Then, when the project is completed, I have a wonderful piece of something I have created myself. Whether for my home or for others, it's a tangible part of me that I have created - it can't be purchased, at least how I've created it. Lately, it seems like everything is available to us. Everything but time. TIME spent in the needlearts is time given back to yourself. It's a gift. It's a gift you give even if you don't give the project away. Because you've invested the time. I'm watching Farenheit 451. It's a scary movie about a "future" society that has banned books. The characters live sterile lives in a society that seems uninterested in personal accomplishment or artistry. In our increasingly connected, yet oddly disconnected world, knitting and other needlearts connect me to the women who taught me. They connect me, via the Internet, to other members of the "Secret Society of Fiber Fondlers" (you can see us at any craft store, petting the yarn or stroking the embroidery floss). They even connect me to people "live and in person" when I pull out my knitting in public. Invariably, someone asks if it's hard. I tell them no. And they watch me. And maybe, they get the idea that they can do it. And maybe they do. But even if they don't, they can still see the art is being practiced.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
So what possesses the average writer, knitter and reader to create, maintain and post to a blog when there are (a) so many things to write; (b) too many projects to knit; and (c) all the books one's heart could desire? Well, maybe it's a way to spread the joy a bit. I'm opinionated. And I have published works before, but this is personal. It's like my knitting. It's a piece of me that's given to you. If you read it, peachy. If you don't - just don't tell me; my feelings will be hurt!