Then when I re-started knitting, the memory of the fact of the line re-arrived because that’s how brains work. Line: The lyric essay lives, exists within the looking. Rather than a narrative arc, there’s a narrative exploration.
This isn’t about spinning tales or about yarn unraveling. With lyric essays, sometimes the pattern, the structure of it, comes as you write. I didn’t know how this was going to be words and yarn woven together. But as I started writing, the figuring-it-out-as-I-go started to take shape, too.
I’m knitting a tank top right now, patternless: Without a pattern already written, that is.
And it’s in the writing and sorting through the patterning that we can find our vibe, our flow, the words that pour forth because within the fragments, the mosaics, those blank spaces that make up the lyric essays that live within us, we can find the flow. Even in the blanks.) “YO” in knitting is a yarn over.
It’s when you swing the yarn over the needle, and eventually that becomes a hole and eventually the holes create a whole pattern.
The parenthesis are intended for enclosing the almighty Side Thought.
But maybe that’s something lyric essays are all about: finding patterns in punctuation and form and just going with it because that’s just how the mind thinks sometimes. New life goal: knit ugly sweaters for lighter cozies!I craft them because I’m in love with knitting’s journey. To get a general idea and an actual picture (visuals included!) of what different narratives and personal essay structures can look like, check out Tim Bascom’s essay, “Picturing the Personal Essay.” There are a number of different kinds of lyric essays, such as: (Hopewell Publications, 2015).* Patrick Madden says this about writers and patterns: “We are a pattern-finding species, perhaps none of us more so than essayists, whose job it is to corral bits of raw experience into meaning without inventing rounded scenarios and uncanny coincidences. It’s not about turning life into art, turning yarn into fabric, but it’s about the witnessing and the creating together, intersecting at the experience of living.Our imaginations don’t supply the materials, but they make the connections.” In knitting patterns, the parentheses are for what needs to be repeated. Lyric essayist Dinty Moore has a book about being a mindful writer, aptly named .Holes like breathing spaces ______ that make you feel whole.Which is to say it’s okay to take your time when writing, when figuring. What it is to look, listen, spy on life’s tacit trembles and inner-workings, record, then translate, and craft into lyricism. I feel like I approach lyric essay intuitively, and perhaps my definition differs from other lyric essayists.They are sometimes described in terms of form: they are short, fragmented, braided, etc.Then it was about observation and fibers’ meditations.(And of course: patterns.) Now it’s about this—a structure forming while an idea unravels itself within me. An inner-methodical mazing through my brain, finishing on the page. And now I remember that I came up with a line in my last knitting break that I was going to write down but forgot about it.