If my latin is right (and there is no special reason why it should be, now that I think about it) that title means “It is Completed” and boy, oh boy, oh boy….is it ever. The whole thing was such a shebang that I’ve been trying to figure out what to say about it…it was so big and cool and overwhelming that dudes, I don’t even know if I can do it justice. It ran the gamut from overwhelming to thrilling to terrifying to surprising to satisfying to vindicating to… there’s so much to tell you and exhaustion is still running high. I’m trying not to babble. I’m going to do it in order.
AM. Run around like an idiot trying to find all my stuff. Fail.
Noonish. Arrive in NYC and go on an impromptu yarn crawl when my hotel room isn’t ready, but Ms. TMW is. We even visited the growing hat collection at Knitty City.
Evening: I ate fantastic Tibetan food for dinner then stayed up becoming increasingly hysterical about the events to come. When Joe calls at 1AM, I cried and told him that I thought maybe I made a big mistake becoming a writer. I worry, and fall asleep with yarn in my hands. (Really nice yarn, actually…)
6:00AM – I wake up and spring to action, fuelled entirely by fear alternated pleasantly with abject terror. I need to be in Manhattans financial district for a radio interview and having been burned by NYC traffic before, this time- I am prepared. I shower and dress and obsess about my hair before remembering that nobody can see me on the radio, then sit on the edge of the bed watching the Today Show and looking for knitters. I arrive 50 minutes early for the interview. (I swear. You cannot win with this traffic thing.) I drink coffee, look at New York .. and wait. I continue to worry.
As the time to do the interview approaches I flip out further as I realize that the thing is going to be live.
I get out of the interview without saying anything too stupid and only say “arse” once. I do not use any other four letter words of ill repute, which is a considerable achievement, considering my hysteria and the early hour.
9:400AM. Back in the hotel room, I drink coffee and look at my speech again. I call Jayme on her cell phone and tell her I’ve decided not to do it. She laughs – but she knows I sort of mean it. Just for laughs, while I am waiting for the feeling of impending doom to lift, I check for flights to Toronto. There are none.
11:00 AM I leave for Strawberry Fields in Central Park with Ms. TMW in tow. (The woman is unstoppable. I got everywhere because of her.) When we arrive…there are knitters everywhere.
Everywhere. We didn’t count, but there were more than 100. (Enough to freak the muggles pretty bad, and enough to attract the attention of a park police officer who sat in his little car at the edge of Strawberry Fields with an extraordinarily worried expression.)
I visited with and enjoyed the knitters for a little bit….recorded a quick podcast thing with Guido, did a video thing for Cat and waited for it to be time. While I was waiting, Kimberly (a force for good on this earth, let me tell you) had, rather incredibly, pulled together these wild and fantastic laptop bags full of yarny presents. (And coffee syrup. But I listened to the podcast and now I know what to do with that.) There was one for me, and one for Jayme-the-wonder-publicist, who I know was very touched to receive a gift. It was so kind.
12:00. I walked to the centre of the Imagine mosaic and put down the sock. As I did so, all the knitters followed suit – and something happened.
Something moving. I don’t know if it was just the power of the word “imagine” – if it was the tremendous sense of camaraderie or teamwork, I don’t know if it was just the madness of it all…but there was something gloriously gleeful and spectacular about watching all of those knitters and all of those socks coming together. I got a little choked up. It was miraculous. We all laughed and nobody was a crazy person. As a matter of fact, the muggles were the crazy people…we outnumbered them. It was fascinating to watch them come around the corner and try and figure out what the hell was going on.
All of these socks (and one dishcloth) and all of these knitters from all over the place. It was insane. It was magic. It was perfect.
The whole time the cop kept looking over (we were breaking the “no more than 20 people gathering without permission” rule) and trying to figure out what it was, or if he should stop it or if.. it was, as someone said…the most civil disobedience in the world.
I don’t know about the other knitters who were there, but I’m taking that afternoon to my grave as one of my happiest and most remarkable moments. It’s a feeling I only get when I’m around that many kindred spirits, and really, if you are the sort of person who takes pictures of your sock in places, you are going to usually find it pretty hard to find kindred sprits among your fellow humans.
The sock pictures are something I usually do alone, because there’s nobody quite as crazy as me. I’ve grown accustomed to the staring. Suddenly, one beautiful afternoon in Central Park…everybody was as crazy as me, and in one hysterical perfect moment, we were all among our people.
I started to walked away reluctantly at the end of it…headed for about 14 big surprises, and someone called me back and showed me the plaque on the back of one of the benches. The benches all have dedications on them.. honouring different people for different reasons. One of them stands out. One reads:
I wonder who Sandy Sue was…and I wonder if she ever knit a sock right there…in Central Park. Imagine.
Tomorrow, part two, in which I am surprised. Over, and over and over again. (It was a series of pretty big flipouts, actually.)