Friday, October 24, 2008

Rationalizations and justifications

Because I "only" had 5 projects awaiting completion, I decided it was time to cast on for a pair of fingerless gloves. I ran a very comprehensive rationalization of why I could delay the works in process even further and, I am happy to say, it was successful.

The cables on the sweater's sleeve require me to pay attention and I'd rather do something less thought consuming. The shawl pattern is fairly mindless but it is going to take a long time to finish. The seams on the cardigan need to be taken out and put back in, which requires full daylight to see well. I didn't want to haul the sewing machine out to bind the quilt or finish the blouse. And, (major point here) my hands felt cold as I was typing on the computer. Obviously, diving through my yarn stash and patterns was necessary. On hand were several small balls of Shetland wool and a pattern for fingerless gloves just begging to be started. So start them I did.

And as I contentedly worked away on my satisfying little project, I wondered why I felt the need to rationalize anything.

There seems to be an unspoken assumption that completion of something is a virtue that must be achieved before another something can be begun. But why do I (and seemingly others) make that assumption? And is there any truth to it?

If meaning lies only in the completion of a thing, then perhaps the assumption makes sense. But, that doesn't seem to be true to me. The hours of knitting, sewing, and writing are full and complete in and of themselves. The thought, creativity and devotion of each stitch, each word or each action exists in its own moment regardless of its ultimate disposition.

Each project, action, relationship has its own seasons, whether to be started or finished or perhaps put aside. Like plants in a garden, sometimes one needs more attention than another. As the ultimate mistress of them all in my life, my task may be to help them along, each in its time, rather than to try to control the phases. To make way for what calls in the moment.


Carmen said...

I enjoy your way of thinking, your rationalization for whether or not something needs to be "rationalized".

It is the journey then, not the destination that drives a great many of us.

Denise said...

I'm a process person not a production person, so I never feel the need to rationalize the need to start something new.

I am the queen of wips.