Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Knitting in Black

Today on a long road trip I started knitting a black and red purse. It was a pattern I had anticipated buying and attempting for 3 months.

I cast on 60 stitches, the yarn coarse and thick in my hands. From a few feet away it looks like black velvet, but in my fingers it felt like hair. It was really substantial, weighty to me. I thought of the way Walter Wangerin Jr. described Hagar's hair in The Book of God. I thought of my mother's jet black tresses gilted with silver. I thought of the hair of most the world's women, Asian, Indian, African, black and beautiful. I turned my needles to begin the first full row and worked in a cable pattern.

The lives of women feel the opposite of this knitting, they feel unraveled, as if because of the description of life in Genesis 3 we must always be vying for a slice of the power on earth. As if we must set our face against our sisters to get what we really want. I had dinner next to Lake Tahoe tonight and in the posh West Side setting I felt noticed by more women than men. I felt sized up on my way to and from the restroom. I felt separate as if a specimen being recorded and then dismissed. It was a brief moment, but I wondered at how God must feel. Does he long to weave women back together? To redeem not only the woman against man battle that the judgment brought on, but also the woman against woman?

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