I Don't Bowl Alone
-Robert Putnam, Bowling Alone
Actually, I don't bowl at all. (It's not a moral issue; it's a hand-eye coordination thing. Bowling balls are heavy. Dangerous.) It turns out that I don't knit alone, either.**
Look what I finished at knitting group last night:
That's right - the knitting on Winter Folly is done done done. And one sleeve is set in. After all that stressing, now I couldn't care less about finishing. Hmmm. . .
My history classes (speaking of a Liberal Medical Education) have been all about American citizenship and nationalism, the early republic, and, of course, hegemony. Naturally, our discussion of declining social capital led me to talk about knitting and knitting blogs, wherein I affirmed that if anyone requires a community, they should learn how to knit. Not only is knitting a metaphor for life, but you get to hang out with cool folks like at the knitting group that JayJay (blogless commenator) organized. During our raucous discussion of Bowling Alone, we learned that it's not only knitting: There are puppy playgroups, Cat Clubs, Antique Clubs, and the politics of Cycling Clubs can rival those of Congress.
So the sky is not falling. Social capital is good. Knitting is good for your health. And if you think the barn raisings and quilting bees of the days of yore speak to a simpler time, remember this: They didn't do it for the postcards. They needed barns. Winter is cold without central heating. It's warmer when you knit, and warmer still when you knit with friends.
*I would be remiss if I didn't point out that this is likely related, at least in part, to the healthy worker effect. (People with jobs are healthier than people without jobs, not because having a job makes you healthy, but because if you aren't healthy, it's hard to hold down a job.)
**This is patently untrue. But last night I did not knit alone.