My favorite sweater is unraveling.
This is not some cheap acrylic and nylon “sweater” that I picked up at Target, but the real deal, an intricate, hand-woven beauty that took many hours of love and labor to create.
This is the sweater that has been with me through thick and thin, the one that didn’t care if I was wearing make-up and high heels or jeans and sneakers. It simply fit me in my many moods and styles, and I often received compliments while wearing it.
I’m not sure when the thread got snagged, but sure enough, there is a very large hole now, one that I can no longer ignore, or simply patch up in a way that no one will notice.
Is it because of my love for this sweater, that I did not want to face the truth? Have I been afraid that I wouldn’t do the sweater justice, if I tried to fix the hole myself, to weave the threads back in? Do I feel guilty for having neglected the thread that reached out to me like the hand of a small child, wanting to be woven back into its place next to my heart?
Yes. And no.
Many times I did try to weave the thread back in, but it just exacerbated the problem, so I would leave it alone with the hope that the small hole would magically fix itself. Instead, it just got bigger.Maybe I wasn’t weaving in the right direction, or pulled too hard? Should I take all the blame?
I look at this sweater with sadness. The way I see it, I am faced with three choices. None of them are easy.
Keeping the sweater as is, well, that is not an option. The hole makes me cold, and even *I* am starting to question why I’m wearing a sweater with a big hole in it, one that no longer accentuates my glow, my joie-de-vivre.
The first choice is to throw the sweater away. That seems like a total waste to me and makes the little angel on my shoulder yell very loudly. Why would I throw away something so beloved, something that was good to me for so long, when there are other choices?
The second choice is to unravel the sweater completely, roll up all the yarn into a ball, and find someone to help me weave another sweater. It would be a totally new sweater, with a different pattern, but I could take the things I liked about this sweater and work them into the new one, and try to make it stronger so that if it snagged, I could fix it right away.
The third choice, the one I am most inclined to pursue, is to sit down and really try to fix the sweater, maybe even find someone who could help me fix it. The sweater wouldn’t be the same, and it would certainly be “quirky,” but there would be a safe familiarity and comfort to it, and it would have its own endearing beauty. It would acquire even more special meaning because I was able to take something so dear to me, something that almost fell apart, and put it back together again.
The risk, of course, by doing so, by exploring the ways in which I can turn the sweater into once-again wearable warmth, is that it will fall apart. Permanently. But I think I have to take that chance.