If you write about Vermont, you’ll write about rain. There’s a myriad ways to know rain: lying in bed on a summer evening with the windows open, relishing the needed watering of thirsty garden greens, or the unwelcome tear of November ice in your eyes.
In knitting, my hands know how to create using wool (or linen or hemp) and needles. I can read a pattern, measure and gauge, but the bulk of that knowledge is through the experience of my hands and eyes. My fingers know if the tension is right, or whether to rip apart and begin again.
My daughter draws beautifully; something I cannot do at all. When I ask her, how do you do that? she says she doesn’t know. But yet, clearly, on some level, she does know. She just hasn’t yet articulated it. Writing, too, is that fascinating mixture of craft and raw, direct experience. Rain is a handful of soil so sodden it runs between your fingers, or lies heavily over fields and lakes, so dense and unending it might as well be a territory unto itself. Like Janisse Ray’s lovely line: Sometimes all day, days, rain falls.
But once I held
in my hands,
I touched its blue power.
That may be the only time
I ever do.
From Janisse Ray’s “Kingfisher”