She carefully selects the wool she will use, decides which color it should be, patiently dyes the fiber, spins it into yarn, knits it according to whichever pattern she has chosen, and blocks it into shape.
It occurred to me one day, while marveling at her work, that Sandi and I share rather analogous skills. The poetry that I write involves more than merely knitting words together into usable sentences.
Poems require that I select the sound, the texture, and the hue of each individual word, subtly nuancing and otherwise abridging them as needed, and ultimately weaving them all into a specific shape.
Both Sandi and I have developed our skills over several decades. Yet, for all of our diligence to design she and I are often surprised by the finished products of our work. Formula is merely a frame.
Within that rigid frame unanticipated tinges can appear within the form, which usually help to enhance what was intended. Which begs a question: “Is the art itself more competent than the artist?”
In truth, both Sandi and I have found that there is a fluid dialogue between the tools we each apply and the work at hand. We have learned to appreciate this and to allow the art to take part as well.