Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Getting Back Up

How does a person in her Third Third handle disappointment? I mean, have we learned things? Are we better at this?

I still repeat a quote I found once: “Heroes are not born, they’re cornered.” Sometimes I think any coping wisdom that arrives in the Third Third is more a factor of having kids (so you can’t be the baby), having a job (so you have to get dressed), knowing how much things cost (so you can’t throw things), or generally having responsibilities. We’re cornered into getting on with it.

But by now, we’ve also learned that “this too shall pass” or that one door closes and another opens.

My friend Linda recently closed her business. She poured years and heart and money into creating a wonderful space for the community in Terra Bella, a space that my women friends and I inhabited every Friday morning. And now it’s closed.

Meanwhile, I knitted and knitted and organized and arranged, and on Friday, the group met earlier so Sunnie and I could leave to go yarn bomb the trees at Westchester Lagoon. It was cold, but the tree sweaters were colorful, the Guerrilla Knitters energetic, and the crowd appreciative. Bicyclists stopped to ask if they could help. By the time we were done, it was a landscape of art. It was a totally happy day. Joyful even. People took photos, everyone smiled giddily.

And the next day, we discovered that vandals had destroyed every piece of knitting, torn them off, thrown them in garbage cans.

In the royal order of things, I can’t even compare my disappointment with Linda’s. But I bet we’re feeling some of the same things. We’re wondering if there’s something we could have done, something that might have created an alternative path. We’re wondering when we’ll be able to plunge into something with unbridled optimism.

We tried to add our little bit of positive to the world, and we got foiled. In my case, there’s a bogeyman. In Linda’s, it was just too much uphill.

When I told my friend Connie how the day had been such a happy one, she said, “You still have that day. That day happened and was happy.” She’s right. They could take away the art, take away the experience from people who didn’t see it, but they can’t subtract those hours of happiness. Instead of being an art exhibit up for three months, it turned out to be a performance piece up for several hours. It was theater; ephemeral but inspiring. Terra Bella lasted a lot longer, but the group of us forged in its space will last even longer.

You can tell I’m getting over disappointment because I can write things like this now. I’m focusing on what doors may open, how maybe people will see that building a positive community takes all of us to have lots of ideas. Some will fizzle, some won’t be your cup of tea, but some will take off. Parks & Recreation wants us to try again, TV news wondered if there will be a groundswell of knitting, and Rue at the newspaper captured the whole mood in this video. My friend Pam said knitters will rise again.
It’s not about knitting. It’s about trying. If I’ve learned anything by my Third Third, it’s that trying doesn’t mean succeeding. It means trying.

It’s about way more than knitting.

1 comment:

  1. I was sad to hear about the vandalism. Maybe a second try? This time hidden cameras to catch the buggers! Terra Bella closing. : (


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