An airborne plastic chair shattered our kitchen skylight.

Who knew a plastic patio chair–you know, the ubiquitous kind now filling backyards and landfills around the world–could shatter a double-paned tempered glass skylight? Who knew? I now know this can happen, because this morning, it happened to us.

A sunny, blustery morning in February was shattered–literally and figuratively–by a sound like a meteor hitting the house. My husband and I apprehensively headed toward the source of the sound as our two fluffed-up cats shrank to the floor. In the kitchen, we could still hear the tempered glass skylight crackling like a campfire as a filigree of fine cracks continued to infiltrate every centimeter of the skylight. While sounding like a campfire, it looked like ice. Our kitchen was suddenly the bottom of an ice-covered pond. This would have been fascinating if I hadn’t been mentally distracted by the fact that it would cost money to get this fixed.

$500? $200? How much is our deductible? If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Just this morning during yoga, I basked in the feeling of being blessed in all aspects of life. We were healthy and safe. My family and extended family were doing well. I was retired and happy. Things were humming along harmoniously, but then, this. I think I somehow invoked a universal jinx by feeling content and acknowledging it.


Turning to the orderly control of crochet helps when things get crazy.

I retreated to the dining room to ponder the irony of this and noticed my latest crocheted WIP undisturbed on the dining room table, just as I’d left it last night. Its neat rows of half-double crochets were lined up one atop the other in a coordinated pattern that would soon turn into the first of the hats in a planned slouchy-beanie series. Ideas for embellishing these completed hats had danced in my head before sleep and soon upon awakening. This project brightened my days. So, of course, distracted as I was, I picked up my hook and began to crochet. Soon the turmoil ceased, and I was once again counting my blessings along with my stitches.

Last night while watching public television, I heard a remarkable story of Wayne Kramer, former MC5 band member, who has started a project called Jail Guitar Doors. What impressed me the most about Wayne was how he was using the creative outlet of music–playing and composing–to help prisoners express themselves constructively and creatively, and as a result, build their sense of self-worth. I’m not saying our broken skylight is comparable to a jail sentence or that my crochet is the same as composing music, but I do know how helpful crochet has been in getting me out of my head when I start telling myself negative stories (I have a vivid imagination!), and how sharing my hats with others has brought much pleasure to my life. I know others do the same.

How do you use your creativity to ease the trials of life? Whether you crochet, knit, paint, work with wood or create noodle necklaces, you’re doing it because for some reason it makes you feel good. (Note: If it doesn’t make you feel good, please stop doing it. Now. Don’t waste another minute.)

So two ideas are running through my mind as I think about this morning’s small incident and last night’s introduction to Wayne Kramer and how he is harnessing creativity for good.

First, what can I do? Is there a way to use crocheted hats to make the world a better place? Sounds silly to even write this, but I think the idea has merit and I know there are many of you who crochet for charity or who have used your teaching skills to bring the joy of creativity to others. What can I do?

Second, bring creativity into your life! If you are reading this, you have probably already done that, but if you are tempted to quit or know someone who could use a creative outlet, be fierce in holding onto what you are doing and sharing that with others. You are making a contribution. A creative world filled with the heartfelt handiwork of individuals is a better place. Embrace your talent. Don’t compare. Be true to your vision and keep your eyes and brain filled with great ideas, images and stories. Don’t spend time with dark thoughts or negativity.

OK. Done. My soapbox is stashed away until next time.

Until then, pick up your hook, needle, brush, hammer or noodle and express yourself! Now. Today. The world is waiting. As Wayne Kramer says, “Creating something is a good argument against worthlessness.” This is an argument I can embrace.


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