I finished this sweater today. I actually knit this before I moved, in some kind of too-busy-to-rest frenzy, but I hadn't grafted the underarm stitches, so I couldn't call it officially finished until now. It's a nice chunky cotton sweater, which will be useful in my always-freezing office. And it's green! I followed the Selvedge Cardigan pattern from this magazine. I just started reading Susan Sontag's journals (As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh), and while it's a little difficult to sit down and read for all its fragmented passages, she certainly wrote some wonderful sentences here and there. Like this one:
Writing is a little door. Some fantasies, like big pieces of furniture, won't come through.
Indeed. This blog, for me, has been a kind of exercise of squeezing a whole host of imagined furniture through a very small, very oddly shaped door. And most of the time I have to take them apart outside and pull them in bit by bit, and try to reassemble them, only to find that parts are missing or don't fit together the same way anymore.
This is a struggle I'm very familiar with in a different arena, a frustration I've written about in my own journals before, using much less elegant language than Susan. It came up frequently when I was hustling through my last semester of design school, working a full-time job and pushing myself to be creative(!) and brilliant(!) for an additional 30 hours every week. Naturally, I got stuck a lot, and tried to trick my stubborn brain into getting unstuck, but much of the time it felt like this door (of design) was impossibly small and my ideas impossibly slippery.
But I get some kind of amusement from being reminded that all those in any creative profession struggle with this. And I would love to see some kind of compendium of frustrations by great artists and writers, juxtaposed with their work. I want to see an exhibit where the plate next to the art notes this struggle on the list of materials: oil, gouache, charcoal, self-berating, scotch. Like every piece of art is some kind of diplomatic agreement between the artist and his or her idea, some kind of approximation of genius.