In which I Ruminate on my New Hobby
I learned to knit a long long time ago, and my enthusiasm for the craft tends to wax and wane. I spent the last trimester knitting blankets for both of my girls. I have found a group of fellow knitters here in town, and I delight in their gatherings. Somehow, even working on individual projects in the same space can’t help but make a gathering feel like a community. Becoming a part of a community is probably the most significant reason why this current bout of knitting has lasted several projects longer than any other.
Which is why I’m so glad that I’ve become part of this community that thinks and writes about what it is to live happily in fat bodies. Knitting is not the only thing in my life for which my enthusiasm has been variable. My commitment to growing towards self-acceptance has also waxed and waned over the years. But the notion that this body is an acceptable body, a good body, and it deserves to be well-fed, well-dressed, and and well-loved is an important one. Are there limits? Sure. But in the past few years they have more to do with financial and time limits than with this body not being worth the effort. And being part of a community of other who believe these things about themselves makes it so much more possible for me to believe this about myself.
Also- I notice knitted items now, and I notice things about them I didn’t before: the colour, the stitch patterns, the construction. Because I’m part of a community that talks about these things. I’m learning. And last week, I finished my own first design. I went looking for a pattern and couldn’t find one so I made one up. And now I’m adding that to the vast pool of knowledge that is out there, contributing my own small voice to the conversation. In a similar way, because I am part of a community that talks about things such as bodily autonomy, and shame, and the difference between being harmed by a state of being and being harmed by a social and cultural response to that state of being… I see those in more places, too. In people of all sizes. So often I find myself thinking a lot less about how “Fat people should be treated better” and more “damn! People should be treated better”. I’m still figuring out how to participate in that wider conversation in a meaningful way. I know that things I’ve learned here have found their way into my preaching, into my interactions with with people, into my parenting. A small enough contribution to the conversation, but a contribution that I wouldn’t ever have been able to make, if I were on my own.
So thanks for having me, eh.