OT - The Softer Side

Seemingly like many of us over the last couple of weeks, I have been experiencing my share of stress and frustration. As Mil said... something in the water. However, over the course of the last few days I have been reminded that while I cannot determine whether or not my patients will die, or if Jason's chemo will work, or if Swince Flu spreads, or the economy rebounds...

I can certainly choose how I respond to these events. And I am choosing love, light, laughter and joyful self-expression over the darkness I have been dishing out lately. (A personal THANK YOU to ETRamblings - my knitting enabler as well as co-worker - for reminding me when I need reminding while swirling in the drama that can be the ER! Love you, Beth!!)

One of my professors from Nursing School has as her personal mission to remind nurses that it's about the ART every bit as much as it is about the SCIENCE. She used to have us write weekly essays about our experiences. This afternoon, the first public reading of some of those stories, now published as "A Call To Nursing" by Kaplan, was held at the University of Illinois in Chicago. One of my essays made it into the publication! I was so moved by the readings. I was reminded that despite it all, really, it does all boil down to us giving a damn about one another. Or, more simply put, LOVE.

I just finished re-reading pages and pages of MWK posts from the last few days... and I, too, am just blown away by the caliber of individuals found in this forum. Not just the knitting... really, that is just an outward expression of the collective creativity present, but of the character, integrity, generosity and love expressed here. Love for our selves as individuals, love for each other, love for our craft, love hand-crafted into works of art gifted to others, and - recently - romantic love, as well. The lesbian folk singer Chris Wiliamson sings a song "Waterfall" on her breakthrough album 'The Changer & The Changed' that runs through my head as I write this. The lyrics, "Filling up and spilling over... an endless waterfall..." describe for me what I get from MenWhoKnit. I get filled up to the point of overflow so that I can share with others.

In "A Call To Nursing" one of my classmates from school, Shirley, wrote of being on a journey for which one cannot pack, does not know the route or even the destination. However, it is a journey we must take nonetheless. Some journeys happen by default, some rather begrudgingly... but it is the journey of the unknown traveler in each of us that rises up and grabs the steering wheel with a roar of delight in our perpetual movement, our forward motion, our wild and adventurous abandon as we take on life and it's logical conclusion on our own terms.

God Speed, Brothers! I am honored to be amongst you.


QueerJoe's picture

First of all, congratulations on having your essay published...based on how you write here, it's no surprise that one of your essays was selected.

But also, thank you for so eloquently writing about what a great space this is. There is a very rare quality of men and women that participate here that I have never seen in any other on-line forum. I still participate in many other online forums, but I love coming here every day to read and sometimes add my small piece to it.

chipsir's picture

Thank you Thor for reminding me why I am here (on earth I mean) and for putting into words thoughts I have a problem expressing. I have never mentioned this on here but I too suffer from a life threatening disease and your prose has put me back on track again. Thanks so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PhilNmtl's picture



ronhuber's picture

I second that.

rjcb3's picture

It's the very same reason I keep coming here and remain a regular.

I know more about the goings on in the lives of the guys here than I do my own family!

'don't know what that's supposed to say, 'cept I really love this whole world...and the people within. It's the world I prefer to be in -- at least while online and "being" among people.


When are we runnin' away to Guam?


MMario's picture

Someone I know from another web-site did that several years ago "ran away" to Guam; and has more or less journaled his eperiences since (including courtship and marriage) on that forum.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

ksmarguy's picture

Beautiful writing... I tip my hat to you for reminding us all that both good and bad come and go in life and it is how we choose to deal with them and respond to them that can make all the difference in the world. So Thank you!

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Thank you, Thor. You have captured the way I also feel about this site. The other respondants also tell it like it is. I have summed it up for myself several times as I've talked to others - here, and in my outside life: This place is truly a Community and fills a need I didn't even realize I had. Until I had it fulfilled. Congratulations on being published. It is a great feeling, knowing that your essay has been put into a book. I hope you get more published in the future. Take care. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

grandfatherknits's picture


WOW! Congrats on getting published. And for stuff from nursing school, wahoo! We know how cutthroat our lovely profession can be.

I second the motion that MWK is the place to find goodness. I can't wait until the retreat THIS month! (I don't have to say next month anymore) And to you and all my Brothers of the Needles, you rock! you are the bomb! you are the best and brightest ever!


Old John's picture

Hey Thor,

Thanks for your wonderful words! Being on the wrong side of a cancer cure myself I was really touched by the outpouring of affection from this group. I'm one of the new kids here, I don't know Jason, and I barely knit, but still I am so happy to be associated with a group who can show such consideration and love for someone facing a terminal illness. Part of having a terminal illness is being faced with the reality that doctors and members of the medical community are going to make a limited investment in those who cannot be saved and focus their efforts on those who can be saved. It is so vitally important to those of us on the short side to have friends and family and the occasional medical specialist to help carry us when we have a difficult time getting there ourselves. Love seems to be one of the best medicines for pain and depression. You guys are wonderful.


TheKnittingMill's picture

Thanks for being you Thor! I really needed to hear some of these things and congratulations on your being published. As shown here, it was very well deserved!


“Now, let us all take a deep breath and
forge on into the future;
knitting at the ready.” -- E. Zimmerman

etramblings's picture

Love you too my friend!!

We are all each others teacher. :)