Metaphorical Brainspace

20171130_103849.jpgHi. Hello. Let’s start with the basics. My name is Monica. I’m a knitter, a podcaster, and a pattern designer. I’m an artist. I take really weird selfies. For the last year I have been producing a fortnightly podcast called Quarrelsome Rhinoceros Stitches. I use that podcast to show off my works in progress, finished objects, and future designs.  

And, now I’m a blogger.

I felt I had more to share with the knitting community than a podcast every two weeks. I have also felt that I have more thoughts to share with anyone who cares to read, for catharsis, for community, for understanding. I want to give a voice to those things that I generally leave unsaid. Maybe some of you will connect with what I’m feeling and saying and find company in that common ground.

I am now technically in my late twenties. Unlike most of my friends, I am not a college graduate. I am not married. I do not have children. I do not know what I want to be when I “grow up.” I have friends who have found their passion and turned it into a career. I have found mine, too, but it hasn’t translated into a viable job.

Knitting is one of my passions. I find the process incredibly calming. I have some of the best ideas while I’m knitting away on something monotonous. At the same time, if I want something to challenge me, I turn to knitting first.

Writing is also one of my passions. Language is difficult to master, and trying to communicate effectively with it can be a challenge. Part of what I would like to do is explore my ability to craft a story. I want to paint you a picture with words that accurately portray the tangled skein of thoughts I have swimming around in my head.

My first skein of thought that I’d like to share is about metaphors and self images.

I have heard about a mind-warehouse metaphor. Say you’re telling a story and you forget the name of the city you were in.  If your mind was a warehouse, there would be a person trying to find the information you requested in a massive filing system. (“Why do we have an entire cabinet full of Disney song lyrics, but nothing on basic geography?!”). This is how I used to picture my mind. On days where I felt good, everyone working there punched in on time at the warehouse that day. Sometimes the filing system even felt computerized where they could just enter what I was looking for into a search engine and not even have to deal with any paper. Some days, where I didn’t feel as great, there was one guy who gave everyone else the flu. He’s fine, but he’s also an idiot and can’t find his own elbow.

I have this new picture of what my mind metaphor is. Over the last few months, I have formed an image of myself sitting cross-legged in the middle of a relatively bare room, hand winding a never-ending tangled skein of yarn, untangling each wrap as I come to it. Each thought I have is wrapped up into the skein. When I get stressed or anxious, I’m covered in the yarn, tangled up in it. When I’ve hit what feels like a creative roadblock, I have found a knot. I work to straighten these out or extract myself from the skein before I can continue wrapping this yarn into a neat ball to cast on a project.

As I navigate life and find where I want to go, perhaps I’ll finish untangling that skein, cast on, and see what turns out.