So often when I knit, complete strangers walk up to me and (after asking what it is I’m doing), say, “I wish I could do that.” I’m always surprised that so many people “wish” they could knit (substitute any other art form) but rarely motivated to actually learn how to do it.
I’ve taught many friends to knit over the years. (Once my granddaughter gets past the stage of throwing to the floor anything she doesn’t master within the first 17 seconds, I plan on teaching her now to knit.) These friends started out with “Oh, I wish I could do that … would you knit me a sweater?” My response was always, “No, but I’ll teach you how to knit your own sweater.” And then they would quickly learn that mastering knitting was as not difficult or time-consuming (or dangerous) as learning to split atoms or isolating isotopes.
So why don’t people who say they want to learn how to knit, actually learn how to knit?
There’s the old standby “I don’t have enough time.” People, however, generally make time for that which they want to do but don’t have to do, for instance: surfing the net, watching television, or playing games on their various e-devices. I found out that my ex-husband and his family spend hours grouping around a TV pretending to be musicians as they play something called “Garageband.” Why don’t they learn how to play real instruments?
I grew up with many (many) years of music lessons. I always wanted to learn a stringed instrument but my mother said no. (I got piano and flute, instead.) So now I am learning how to play classical guitar. I wish that had been my second instrument (never did like the flute)!
So I urge people who think “I wish I could do that” to learn to do just that! Art – no matter the form or medium (e.g., composing, writing, knitting, quilting, weaving, painting, drawing, sculpting, etc.) is an important – probably necessary – part of life. Art puts color one’s life.