I work nights, and usually sleep well during the day-- unless something is on my mind. Yesterday, that something was the brutal, heart-aching shift I had Saturday night. I slept a fitful three or four hours, and while I was not sleeping, I was thinking of a patient who had just barely survived the night, thanks to some aggressive-- and pretty gruesome-- interventions. I desperately wanted to jump out of bed rested and ready to join the battle again-- or, more likely, to provide comfort to her and her family as she laid down her struggle-- but my body refused to cooperate. I very reluctantly called work to tell them I wouldn't be coming in.
I'm working on another hat right now-- big surprise, I know-- that absolutely enchants me. It's a simple pattern, but I'm working it in a new way. When I crawled back into bed last night, I brought it with me, and working the simple stitches in beautiful colors soothed my mind and heart. I have written before about how knitting sustains me through difficult times, and I think it is the act of creating something beautiful, watching it unfold one row at a time, that does it. With this hat, I have been working very slowly, taking time to admire the interplay of the colors. It helped me to settle the sadness and hurt I feel for my patient, and my desire to be there caring for her. I now remember a moment from Saturday night when she was fighting to breathe, and we were waiting for the respiratory therapist to arrive. White Christmas was on TV, and I found it hard not to watch as I stood there next to her bed, fretting. She hadn't been lucid much, but I gradually realized that she was watching too, and smiling-- for a moment, she was aware of something beyond her pain and fear. We were both lost, for a moment, in the music and dancing on screen.
It's difficult to write about this, though writing never comes easily for me. It would be simpler to throw up a picture or two of my latest project, add a few lines of explanation, and be done with it. I have at my fingertips access to so many pretty things and I sometimes physically crave beauty-- to create it, to experience it-- as if it were water or air. To go deeper into the murky, troubling areas of my life, and to shed light on them is insanely hard. I am so uncertain of success-- or even noble failure-- but I have to try.
I'm not sure where-- or if-- this fits into a knitting blog, but if you have taken the time to read, I thank you. I have been so grateful for the many kind comments on my last post-- and more than that, I really love having so many beautiful places to visit each day (via the magic of the internets). Sometimes it seems like there is too much beauty in the world for one lifetime, but really there can never be enough.