Hear me out.
I’m not happy about the election results. Not at all.
I’m scared for the groups of people in our country that could face danger if the policies this man promotes become reality. I’m scared that a man who wants to control a body that is not his, and people with preferences that are different than his own, is going to be his #2. I’m scared that friends of mine could see progress that they’ve fought so long for ripped away just when they were beginning to feel like things were changing. I’m scared that a state that just lost 49 of their own citizens due to gun violence and hate just voted to have the men who promote it lead our entire country. I’m just really scared.
So I started knitting. Again. And I took a sock I was working on to a friend’s house to watch the election results. We were so excited. We wore Hillary shirts, I baked cookies, and we ordered bottles of champagne. We kept one unopened to pop when we made history. We couldn’t wait to hear the glass shatter.
And I was still working on the sock when Trump’s lead grew. I stopped anxiously fidgeting and checking my phone and put my nervous energy into my hands instead. But I could no longer ignore the nag of doubt at the back of my mind that the idea that I had made fun of for years could really happen tonight. The bottle of champagne in the fridge might remain unopened.
As the sock pattern was a stitch I was familiar with, I stopped paying close attention. I repeated it in my head in a panic as Trump took Ohio, and my heart sank. Knit, purl, knit, purl, knit, purl… How many electoral votes does Iowa have? Knit, purl, knit. Have they called Virginia? Knit, purl, knit, purl.
By the time I noticed the mistake I had made, it was too late. I was too numb to rip it out and fix the problem. Several rows were wrong, leaving a noticeable mistake in the design. It didn’t matter anyway; these socks were forever ruined by the memory of this night.
During my lunch break on Wednesday I took the sock to a coffee shop near my office. I worked on it for awhile. The row that I had messed up seemed to draw so much attention the night before, but after a few more rows were added, it blended in. Adding more around it made the problem start to fade away.
Knitting is a continuous loop. A singular stitch depends on the stitch that comes after it to help decide it’s shape. One stitch cannot exist without the others around it. A finished product is the result of hundreds of thousands of stitches. A final product may have visible mistakes but you can move past them. Those bad parts are visible because you can’t deny they happened, but it doesn’t have to ruin all the work you’ve done around it.
Our country is a continuous loop. We rely on another in ways we wish we didn’t have to. We don’t always agree, and the people around us may not always shape us the way we would like. But that doesn’t mean everything is ruined. This election and the decisions that are made because of it will forever be in our history and will shape our future. But time can make it okay again. Today, tomorrow, next year and even longer after that, we will deal with this. And it won’t always be pretty, and it won’t always feel good. But we will get through it.
So today I am taking comfort in my sock amidst this frustrating and terrifying reality. This may not be part of the pattern we chose. To a lot of us the state of our nation looks truly awful, but that doesn’t mean it will always be like this. This is a mistake in the execution of our pattern. We adjust and we get back on track. Time will soften the issue, just like more time will help my sock.
We just have to get back to our pattern.