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Inspiration: a randomly thrown around word, an illusive something or other out there somewhere, ready to enter our minds and lead us to create, to live better and more fulfilling lives, to be caretakers of our fragile earth, to be kind to each other, to be human.

The simplest inspiration appears on a brisk morning walk before the world wakes up, at that very moment when dawn shows its face in the East and the moon is visible above. You want to shout out: “I’m here, I’m alive, I’m ready, challenge me.” Or maybe you’re in the middle of a conversation with a friend and she says: “I’m baffled at the lack of understanding among…” You don’t hear the rest, you are already adrift at sea following the wave that’s getting farther and farther away, trying to catch it, to float on it, destination unknown yet full of anticipation.

You step outside on a cool spring morning and breath in the aroma of the magnolia blossoms swaying in the breeze? You are transported to a time maybe from childhood when you and your cousins hunted for ants on your grandmother’s farm, patiently lying on your stomachs for hours watching them carry loads of grain sometimes twice their size. You wanted to see what their homes looked like, where they disappeared to but that would mean disturbing them. Did you disturb them? Did you destroy their homes to satisfy your curiosity? Follow this thread to where it takes you. Does the memory make you feel something? You must feel something to be inspired.

And then, your eyes focus on the corner of your lawn and there you notice they’re back, the armadillo family, tearing up your lawn again, hunting for grubbworms? They look kind of cute and creepy at the same time. A glimpse into the past, eons ago, a pre-historic creature right there in your front yard. What special attributes enabled them to survive? Maybe they posses supernatural powers, or maybe they were left here on earth by aliens programmed to burrow their way into our homes.

Once upon a time there lived a an old woman in an overgrown cottage at the end of a long gravel road. She kept to herself and was rarely seen by her neighbors except every afternoon at four o’clock, when she walked to her mail box carrying a small stool. Followed by a couple of rough looking mousers, she sat and waited for the mailman. Maybe because the neighbors were too busy, or maybe because the woman didn’t appear to be friendly, years passed without any exchange of words.

Then one day, the neighbor across the street noticed that the old woman’s mailbox was overflowing and remembered that he hadn’t seen her out in a while. He gathered up her mail and slowly walked down the road. Not noticing any sign of life, he nervously knocked on the door which gave way and slowly opened onto a magical world. All around the room were trees, flowers and animals made of colorful yarn. Towering palm trees shared space with pines and myrtles, azaleas lined paths that went off into different directions, cardinals and robins perched on fences while cats and dogs lay about soaking up the afternoon sun. And there in the middle of the room sat the old woman tangled up in yarn, looking as surprised as her neighbor.

“What took you so long?” she said looking up at him.  The neighbor couldn’t help but laugh: “If I’d known that you knitted yourself into your chair, I would have come sooner.” She looked at him and smiled: “Don’t just stand there, grab those scissors and cut me out of here.”

And that’s how the old woman finally got her neighbor’s attention. Word spread and soon other neighbors walked down the gravel driveway to admire the room made of yarn. One of them was a  reporter at the local TV station who featured the old woman on the evening news. A member of the local craft guild saw the story and contacted the old woman. The rest as they say is history. Clubs around the world are using the art of knitting to express themselves in most unique ways, all inspired by the little old woman who only wanted the attention of the man across the street.


About katherinejabbar

Woman of a certain age, artist, teacher, semi-retired.

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