Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Old car, new life

The other day, we sold my 1999 Ford Escort. It was time for it to go to a new home, and I was glad to sell it, but it was bittersweet as well.

When I got divorced in 1998, this was my first major purchase. It was the first new car I'd had since 1982 and it became a sign of my independence. I really could do this alone-- raise two children, earn a living, go back to graduate school. Over time, I've bought other cars, gotten better jobs, married a wonderful man. My son drove the car through high school and half of college. It now sports a rock station window sticker that somewhat negated its "mom car" status.

It never broke down, never needed more than routine maintenance for more than 150,000 miles. And for me, it is a symbol of what I could do -- of strength I didn't know I had. In so many ways, that car never let me down.
In remembering the time of my life when I bought the car, I thought about other things I counted on. My family and friends -- there aren't words to express what they did for me.

And oddly, I also thought about knitting. I began knitting for my children in the midst of a marriage whose difficulties exceed description. I won't even try. But knitting became my distraction -- something close enough that a screamer couldn't come between me and it. It became a way to express love to my children and family, a place to focus my energy and anger. I knitted through some horrible times -- and in some ways, it was the knitting that kept my sanity intact.

Now, I knit for creative expression, for meditation, for the pleasure of yarn in my hands, and color and pattern before my eyes. Now, I knit for joy.

Happy New Year!

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