One of the things I dislike about being creative is the trove of stuff that goes with it. I fantasise about ‘just chuck it all out!’ I am not driven by selling work. I also believe that we ‘have enough’. Perhaps I’m not advanced enough to want to make something to wear or to decorate our home. Maybe this will come later.
Then I found knitting for charity. I had knitted in the past, but never got very far. Taking on something like a garment never really appealed, and I know I had some unfinished legwarmers somewhere. I’d started this tea cosy around ten years ago!
I’m not really sure why it hasn’t been finished. Sometimes I resent that thing on the shelf that I ‘have to do’. Snowflakes, on the other hand, are really not something that I need to get done. Which is why they become irresistible.
The main charity I joined is Knit4Charities Inc, a very active group based in Australia led by a wonderful supportive team. I have received much warmth, welcome and reassurance which is great encouragement for a novice like me. Then I found lots more organisations on the web, in many different countries (links coming soon). It is really lovely to see this trend growing. And what inspirational people these charity makers and organisers are! Tirelessly working to get all these crafted donations out to those in need.
My concept of charity opened up enormously when I lived in London. At that time I was a young career-builder, and one day I asked a colleague what they were working towards. Her reply was, “I want to work for a charity.” This was the first time I’d met with charity as a life goal, career path … a whole world in which one could work. It made such an impression on me, I’ve never forgotten it. And as so often happens when something new is discovered, I found that charitable organisations were every which way you turn. I admired this heartfelt tradition in Britain. Even despite the fact that many charities were founded on old money made from colonial exploitation. It gives me pause for reflection to this day.
So, making for charity. Somehow this is different still. It is not something that I have to do, like the dishes, or sewing on a button. It isn’t something I am making for my own reflection to admire. It is not urgent (although K4C does work to a schedule, I’m not productive enough to be part of this yet, so I’m working to my capacity and will donate when it’s finished.) And somehow, I am more motivated to make now than I ever was with that tea cosy.
I’m so content with my choosing. The fact that you can enjoy the making, and then you won’t have it cluttering up around you. That it is helping those in need. Volunteer work that I can do in front of the tv when too tired to do anything else. The wonderful souls all doing the same thing together. The comfort in knowing that the energy of this work is being directed toward unconditional love for a stranger.