The Knitting Sutra:
Craft as a Spiritual Practice
book excerpt by Susan Gordon Lydon.

Epilogue: Taking Flight

Wings are not enough, it seems. We must also grow roots to hold us fast to earth. I am reminded of a story I read in a book about Alaska, Inside Passage, by Michael Modzelewski. Bald eagles capture salmon with their talons but can lift them into the air only if the fish weigh less than ten pounds or so. Sometimes, when the salmon outweighs what the bird can carry and the eagle's talons are sunk too deeply in the fish's flesh to be withdrawn, the salmon may drag the bird underwater and swim with the eagle on its back until it drowns. Fishermen in Alaska have been known to catch salmon whose heads are crowned with eagle talons.

The moral of the story? Even an eagle has to lift off from solid ground.

Knitting grounds me in the realness of the physical world. The feel of the yarn in my fingers, the steady growth of the fabric, the soothing click of the needles, the attention required to stay on course all help to hold me close to terra firma. Though mind and spirit travel in the cosmos, beyond the moon and stars, my body stays rooted in comforting solidity. . .

I didn't have to be airborne, just focused within myself.

Whoosh!

What is flight but a displacement of air?

It all comes down to one of those pesky paradoxes.

Sitting still, I had learned how to fly.


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