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I have the general idea (halter top), the general stitches I’ve learned when knitting other stitches; but beyond that, I’m making it up as I go. The general thought—an inkling for a that will speak to an other thing, knitting and writing, for instance—and I’m letting the structure make itself up as I go.First, this essay was about the _______s and the yarn overs.* Patrick Madden says this about writers and patterns: “We are a pattern-finding species, perhaps none of us more so than essayists, whose job it is to corral bits of raw experience into meaning without inventing rounded scenarios and uncanny coincidences. It’s not about turning life into art, turning yarn into fabric, but it’s about the witnessing and the creating together, intersecting at the experience of living.
I feel like I approach lyric essay intuitively, and perhaps my definition differs from other lyric essayists.
They are sometimes described in terms of form: they are short, fragmented, braided, etc.
A pattern I just noticed that’s emerging in this essay: aside from my enthusiasm for using colons, the core of this essay is forming within the parentheticals.
Which is interesting because that’s antithetical to the “right” usage of parentheticals.
The parenthesis are intended for enclosing the almighty Side Thought.
But maybe that’s something lyric essays are all about: finding patterns in punctuation and form and just going with it because that’s just how the mind thinks sometimes. New life goal: knit ugly sweaters for lighter cozies!This last knitting break I did eight repeats of *(YO, K1) x2, YO, K3, K2TOG* Which is to say there’s a type of rhythm found in whispering to myself: “Yarn over one; yarn over one; yarn over one, two, three; two together,” as I go through the round, as motions match repetition. A mindfulness of object in hand, fingers guiding the creation. Like how I’ve been trying to write an essay that looks like knitting, but I don’t really know what that means. I’ve never read this book, but I mindfully recommend it.That is, I understand the power and importance of observation, of how you can understand something without fully experiencing it, that you can write about the mindfulness that brings you to something—the power of (blank).How the intentional blanks create a pattern in lyric essays. * About the blanks: I take another knitting break, so I can consider the blanks.(And I also break to take some pictures because visuals are fun, and this is about patterns after all, which are mostly a visual-ish kind of thing. I learned that lyric essays often employ research and weave that into personal reflections. In graduate school, I learned lyric essays are scene driven—not stories—with lots of description.Then it was about observation and fibers’ meditations.(And of course: patterns.) Now it’s about this—a structure forming while an idea unravels itself within me. An inner-methodical mazing through my brain, finishing on the page. And now I remember that I came up with a line in my last knitting break that I was going to write down but forgot about it.Holes like breathing spaces ______ that make you feel whole.Which is to say it’s okay to take your time when writing, when figuring. What it is to look, listen, spy on life’s tacit trembles and inner-workings, record, then translate, and craft into lyricism.