Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Slippers: A Love Story

Behold the simple knitted, felted slipper. While knitting is used as a symbol and metaphor all the time, (you know, knitting life's loose ends together or ripping out the knitting and starting again, etc), for me it is an enjoyable, relaxing, sometimes challenging creative outlet which provides me with an object at the end. I have gone through years of being a self-described serial knitter, yet stopped completely for much of this year. The zen of knitting was impossible while I was in the throes of a romantic roller coaster ride. Happily, knitting is back, as is my equilibrium.

So about these slippers. I started knitting and felting slippers a couple of years ago, when one of my two best friends (also a knitter) decided she wanted a basket full of slippers for people to put on when they entered her home. She and I knitted away like crazy, enjoying the wacky color combinations we produced and the wabi sabi nature of felting, where the chemistry of wool and abuse produced results outside of our control. Her pile of slippers grew and another seal of epoxy was added to the bond of our friendship. We laughed, loved and cursed over those damn slippers!

I did digress during the process, and made slippers for a few loved ones as well. Especially important to me was making a pair for my other best friend who had admired the pair I made for myself. Alas, those poor slippers got caught up in my affair, ignored and almost finished for months, staring at me like accusing eyes. I know I read the accusing eyes part into those unfinished slippers because both of my best friends, these two women for whom I would do ANYTHING in life, hated every report of the nature of my far-too-consuming-to-me romance. They knew better than I was able to see that my moratorium on knitting was one of the more tangible indicators that I had lost a part of myself in the affair.

With the visit to San Francisco this week of my dear friend, I knew it was time to finish the slippers so I could present them to her, present her with a symbol of my love, a symbol of my understanding- as only a best friend can- that her feet get uncommonly cold, a symbol that she was there before, during, and after the affair, a symbol that I'm back. We laughed like crazy as she tried them on in her swanky hotel lounge last night, knowing that her feet were now wearing my love letter to her.

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