I came across this incredible photo on Facebook. It was shot by Arnie Draiman, and he was nice enough to give me permission to share it here. This is an Israel Defense Forces soldier knitting on the 74 bus on derech hevron heading towards har homa in Jerusalem. Arnie said that he watched him knitting for several minutes trying to find the right moment to take a photo without distracting him.
There is so much one could say about this image. It’s like a sideways version of the baby on the table. Describe the baby on the table. The artist looks at shape and skin tone; the psychologist notices attachment style; the mother sees an infant that needs to be held; the toddler sees a potential playmate. What you see depends on where you’re coming from.
Bearing this in mind, I’ll just say that one of the things I love about knitting is how it can help me step back and breathe. When things are especially hectic or complicated, choosing to pause and pick up my knitting can be an act of faith. I can imagine someone’s wondering how in the world sacrificing precious time to knit could help with all the things that already have to be done and decided and addressed and otherwise handled. It’s counterintuitive. But every time, as my hands start making the familiar motions and I start to see the yarn become a stitch and then another and another, I sense an anchor beginning to drop and the rush of the world beginning to level off. It’s a powerful thing. That’s what I see in this photo.