March 6, 2014
Since absolutely nothing is accomplished by avoidance, something I always tell voice students, I am tackling the first blog post. Blogging, selfies… they seem completely incongruous with my WASPy, good-girl upbringing: trumpet blowing is not encouraged.
This has been a heady two weeks. I have been both elated and overwhelmed. Most important, everyone has been patient and warm: glad to see a good business continue to serve both clientele and community. In my most stressful moments, I am buoyed by their relieved faces and gracious welcome.
Last night, Barb (a Tuesday night regular) spent some time with me and brought up an interesting question: Why did someone who has never run a retail business, take on such a brave change? Brave? After 25+ years singing on the opera stage and 5+ years in Academia? I don’t think it’s a question of bravery.
When people who know me from my previous incarnation, “The Artist Formerly Known as….” in the opera world, they seem surprised to see me in this new role. It never occurred to me that these were such different fields. I consider myself a facilitator (some might say: supplier, enabler). In all of my roles I always like to regard what I do as a gift, wrapped in beautiful packaging. Performing, teaching, knitting, selling, it involves drawing someone into my world from the outside. How does that happen? I think it’s really an inexplicable, infectious joy for whatever you are doing. People want IN on joy. To be honest, I want in on joy, too.
The answer for me was where my joy was beginning to lie. Like taking sheet music full of lines and black dots, adding your vocal timbre, emotional interpretation, time and effort and transforming it into something personal, tangible to the ear and eye, yarn requires transformation. It is singular and beautiful on its own, but through the imagination and (semi) capable hands of anyone will gloriously transforms itself into something wholly unique. Like a conductor or music coach, a knitter requires someone to coax her imagination beyond just the instinctual draw to reproduce a pattern in a photo.
My joy will not be exclusive and I will not fear change that has come from within. There is room for all of it. Transformation of black dots on staves or black dots on charts into glorious unique creations requires one thing: a facilitator. So, perhaps now I shall return to the concert hall as a slightly over-educated listener of music, accompanied by my current WIP, tucked to my right, in a rear-of-house, aisle seat. There, I will glance across the aisle to see you: a teacher, accountant, doctor, dog-walker or retiree, hands subtly gliding yarn around needles: where my worlds collide.
Please feel free to share your story of transformation through knitting here, or to me in an email: firstname.lastname@example.org