women of a certain age are like sunflowers; they know how to turn their faces to the sun.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Taize

"Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened, but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm."

- Robert Louis Stevenson

The Taizé Community is an ecumenical Christian monastic order in Taizé, Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy, France. It is comprised of a little over 100 brothers who come from both Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant traditions. Over 100,000 young people from around the world make pilgrimages to Taizé each year for prayer, Bible study, sharing, and communal work.

Though Western European in origin, the community welcomes people and traditions from across the globe. This is reflected in the music and prayers where songs are sung in many languages, and increasingly include chants and icons from the Eastern Orthodox tradition. The music emphasises simple phrases, usually lines from Psalms or other pieces of Scripture, repeated and sometimes also sung in canon. The repetition is intended to aid meditation and prayer.

-courtesy of Wikipedia

When it comes to worship, I am a quiet person. Quakers still practice silent prayer as do I in my personal faith life. I find profound strength, fulfillment, and rest in listening for God.

Besides, what could I possibly tell God that he/she doesn't already know?

I enjoy quiet pursuits: reading, knitting, listening to music.

I practice meditation, breath prayer, yoga

The solicitude of solitude.

Our world is so noisy, both externally and internally, that our own inner voices all too often get lost in the din. I treasure the various methods that cultivate quietude, serenity, and peace.

One of these methods is Taize. The circularity of its structure, the repetition of the central thought, are similar in my mind to saying a rosary.

Or knitting a row.

Much has been written on the meditative effects of knitting. And I will admit to missing that aspect, when I am knee deep in beads and complex lace. Don't get me wrong. There is a time for challenge, exhilaration, and the creation of beauty.

But sometimes spareness and simplicity beckon.

It is in that spirit, that I introduce you to:

Taize


The yarn is a new favorite of mine: the Fibre Company's Canopy, an absolutely luscious fingering weight blend of merino, alpaca, and bamboo from Peru.

The pattern is so simple, a mere 6 stitches wide and 8 rows deep. But the resulting surface texture is wonderful.

I added a delicate picot edging and a simple lace border on the ends.

All in all, she is a lovely little aperitif.

Quiet...

understated...

restful...

repetitive...

comforting...

See why I named it Taize?

Will write up the pattern this weekend and then she's all yours.

Knit, pray, repeat...

Hands to work and hearts to God...

17 comments:

Nautical Knitter said...

You are killing me with all the beautiful things to knit... Every time you come out with another I have to just queue it up...

At this rate, you will keep me knitting well into my 500th birthday!!

Thanks for all the beauties!

Sarah said...

What a lovely scarf!!

I visited the Taize community with my family for Holy Week several years ago. It was a lovely, spiritual experience.

Shepherd's Loft said...

it's simply lovely

Emily said...

Absolutely beautiful.

knitterbeader said...

You amaze me with the quantity (and of course, quality) of your designs. I'm not quite up to the level to do a real lacy scarf, but I think this Taize is for me. Thanks for all you do.

denise said...

Love it!!! I particularly love the edging. Looking forward to its release.

Did you know that there is a wonderful Taize site with MP3s and podcasts from the Taize community? If not, here's the link
http://www.taize.fr/en_article681.html

Kim said...

I really like this design!

Donna S. said...

I love this!!! You are soo talented.

Caffeine Faerie said...

This is just so gorgeous! I love this pattern.

Maria said...

I visited a community retreat a while ago and I brought a shalw knitting with a lot of repeats with me. There I realized how close knitting, praying and meditation are to each other.
I look forward to the pattern of the Taize shalw. Here in Sweden Taize have been a great source of inspiration for the church for the last 25 years.

greta said...

so beautiful....and JUST what I need right now!
Blessings to you and yours
as always!

Noemi said...

When I saw the title of your post, I first thought I had misread. How could an american know about Taizé? But of course, it is an international community, and young people from all over the world go there. There are celebrations between Christmas and the New Year in different countries every year too...
Well... in September 81, when I was 15, I spent one week in Taize. The quiet, the restfulness, the silent prayer alternating wiht the repetitive chanting... Such a peace of mind and spirit... It was a week only to think about God, religion, what that meant to us. A week out of the world. It was hard to come back down to earth after that! :-)
And I think that name suits perfectly this scarf, simple yet beautiful, repetitive maybe, but not boring...
Thank you for bringing such nice memories back in my head and heart (i'm singing in my head, right now "Ubi caritas et amor, ibi Deus est"...)

Anonymous said...

You brought me to tears. So beautiful.

Thank you.

Denise~ said...

Another must-have. I've got some natural cream llama that would be perfect for this pattern.

Ann said...

Such an appropriate name as the pattern is really soothing even looking at it.

Liz said...

"Knit. Pray." is exactly why I knit. Must have this one.

cpc said...

Susan - is anyone tryign beads on this? I added some on the points of the picot edging and am toying with a few iin the main body - sorta centered with the yarn overs - wondered about your opinion - I tend to bead more than I should I think.