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

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Not Fit for Public Consumption

I believe we are here for a reason. I believe God speaks both to and through us. I believe God uses whatever means possible to deliver grace.

So when the phrase, "not fit for public consumption" sticks in my noggin, I wonder what it means.

When a computer game screen says, "No more moves. Reshuffle to continue" I pay attention.

I have always been up front in this blog, on Ravelry, & on plurk about who I am, what I do, and where I am going.

I am a Quaker. I do not lie.

I am a mother. Sometimes I fail.

I have experienced deep depression. I fought back.

I am a writer. God gave it to me to use in his service.

I am deeply flawed as are we all.

Things are very difficult right now for reasons that I shall not go into here. My work is suffering. My family is suffering. My mental health is suffering.

Mistakes have been made. And I am reevaluating what I have chosen to do. Perhaps it is time to reshuffle to continue.

Depression is a black hole that swallows us up. So also, can be the court of public opinion.

I am struggling today with both, as I know others do as well. Perhaps my honesty will speak for us all here.

So this is what I have to give today:

We are not intended for public consumption. We have private lives. We have private pains.

We do not know whether the person that cut in front of us in traffic is distracted by the pain of an impending divorce.

We do not know if the woman who is too slowly making change in the check out lane is worried about a sick child.

We do not know if the person writing the pattern or dying the yarn just took the weekend off to drive her son to rehab.

We do not know if the post that raises our hackles on Ravelry is a product of meanness, a cry for help, or the ill considered hasty words of someone who is going through something completely unrelated.

We do not know. We cannot judge.

Whether we step up and help is our decision and ours alone, but one thing I do know.

None of us is fit for public consumption.


Unknown said...


Much love and support to you, and to everyone going through this thing called life. So much could be made easier if we all took a moment to think before we spoke, or typed as the case may be.

Jewelled Trellis said...

Well said and brilliantly written. So much heartache could be avoided if we just too a minute to think and put ourselves in the other persons shoes.
Hugs for you and prayers for you and your family.

Cathie Jones said...

On the other hand, if we don't share our problems, disappointments, and failures with others, we will never know how many love and support us. Whether you share yourself or not, we love you and hope you are able to wrap yourself in that love and feel some comfort. ♥

kaykatrn said...

I hope things mellow out soon for you. Please remember that, so far as your "customers" go, we knit because we love beautiful things, and you design beautiful things, therefore we buy your designs. Unfortunately, we knitters are also kind of OCD or perfectionists, and when (I think) someone says something mean or impatient, they are fighting with themselves a lot more than they are actually criticizing you. Blessings on you and your family.

quiltcontemplation blogspot said...

I am glad that you keep in touch with us and let us know what is going on. I wish you the best. Only God is perfect. hugs to you and yours.

nimbleknitter said...

Sorry you had to go through that mess on Ravelry. I think she was just waiting for the opportunity to spew bile all over everything around her. Rise above it and go on.

Susan Pandorf said...

not about anybody in particular - just things going down that are private in nature, as they should be

MIB said...

I've been lurking since discovering your designs (and buying a couple of your patterns and pining after most of the rest). I just wanted to say, as a stranger you'll probably never meet, that whatever you decide to do in the future, you have already put quite a bit of beauty into the world and those creations have had a small but important positive effect in my life. Wishing you peace and enlightenment...

redskiedmorning said...

Also worth noting that people, unfortunately, rarely speak up to say that they are content! I find it helpful to assume that for every piece of criticism, negtivity, anger, etc. that I receive in the course of my work, 40 other people had positive experiences. Many of us who follow and cherish your work never speak up about it, we just happily knit and hoard our treasures or gift them to people we love. Also, the FotR project is huge. You have taken on a lot with it, and it's good to acknowledge that, and to ask others to respect what you are trying to accomplish and the timeline you are able to work within.

baby face said...

I am sorry about your problems.
I am getting ready to leave the world. I am here on a day to day
basis and I just told my son the
exact words you said today about
why the other person acts the way they do. There usually is a good
reason. I'm pretty crabby myself.
I hope your problems can be resolved.

Guernseygal said...

I understand completely where you are coming from. 2 days before the start of my last KAL I had a family crisis which involved dropping everything and flying off island for 2 weeks. Thankfully there were no major panics (like the last one), but wonderful thought the knitting world and it's people are (and in the main they are THE BEST) sometimes real life and more importantly family and health comes first. Hugs xx

teabird said...

I'm horribly sorry to know that you're in such pain right now - I hope it helps you to know that a lot of people out here love you, can read your goodness in your fibre as well as your words, and offer up as much clear light for you as possible.


T said...

Sending you positive energy and lots of love to help you through this dark time. We love you and want you to know that we're here for you - whenever you need us because you've given us so much more than we could ever give.

There is always a light at the end of the tunnel and friends waiting there too!

Jennifer H said...


Though we haven't met, nor have communicated very long, please take a hug from across the internet waves to speed your healing...You write beautifully, and wrote extremely well what many may feel but are not quite able to articulate into words onto paper, much less the internet.

I don't know the situation on Ravelry as I am still getting to know the ropes, but I can tell that you are a good and gifted individual. Please know you are not alone? Many here I am sure would agree; we support and love you (even myself who doesn't knit) - I love your artistry, and your vision of the yarn and how it should flow. I can't begin to imagine the talent it takes to do what you do! I am lucky to be able to do crocheted scarfs - in a basic pattern no less!! :D

Sending many good thoughts and well wishes to you, and love and hugs as well.


Wicked said...

I do not know what was going on on Ravelry.

I've gone through messiness there myself, it is never fun at all.

So all I can really say right now is that I love your patterns and ....


Melanie said...

Please don't hit the restart button! Well, not in your designing anyway.
As my sister says, "common courtesy is no so common anymore."
Please don't let a couple of naysayers get you down.
True greats like Shakespeare, Beethoven, Van Gogh, etc., they all have/have had their skeptics. Every artist will have their own.
Your gift is your light, let it shine! Don't let anyone else hide it under a bushel.

Unknown said...

Wow -- powerful entry. I wish you peace and wellness. Take good care of yourself first. --Madeline

Deanna said...

As someone just coming out of a couple of months in a deep hole, I wish you the bright sun and a beautiful sunset.
I just found your work with the recent KAL and have loved working with your beautiful patterns. I look forward to the new ones coming, but am also aware that the person designing them is much more important than the patterns.
Take care of that person.

Anonymous said...

Oh Sue, *hugs*
I wish you peace and serenity in this time of trouble. You are a remarkable woman. Take some time, we'll all be here supporting you along the way.

Take care of yourself, and your family. That is more important than anything else at the moment.


Heartsapocolypse said...

Some times life just sucks and we have to just put our heads down and push forward until we can lift them up and find the sun again. I know you will find the sun again...and we will all be here to help you...

Kate said...

I turn my face to the sun and think of you.

I have loved every minute of the KAL, every dropped stitch and even when I knit in the wrong direction for a whole row.

Your patterns are pure art and pure art is hard.

Yes, some people can be shitty, and stupid, and self serving but you, you share yourself in your designs and that makes you strong.

Knit well and the sun will always be with you.


joyknits said...

Very well-written - thank you for sharing it. I love what Kate said - hang in there!

Tammy said...

Susan, know that you have a great support group here, even though there are others who will tear you down. Stay positive, we are here for you.

Carla Willingham said...

That was absolutely beautifully said!!! The sad thing about internet is that something said can mean something different to everyone who reads it. I tell my DH all the time..... I know that's not what you said, but that's what I heard. I hope that you choose to hang in there with those of us who love your patterns and know that human beings make mistakes!! I know I make plenty!!! Smiles and hugs!! Carla

pedalpower said...

Absolutely. Wishing you peace. Wishing and praying for that for us all actually. Hugs.

Unknown said...

I've just been saying exactly the same thing to my 8 year old daughter, dealing with a "mean" girl at school (unfortunately these things start early). We don't know what is affecting her, or why she is behaving the way she is.
Having said that, everyone has the right to a happy life, and the best way to do that is to surround ourselves with people who love us and help us feel good about who we are - anyone else should be ignored.
I'm sending you and yours all my love. Take the time to care for them, and for yourself. We will all still be here when things settle down.

Mylyne said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you. Mind not the ones who judge, their judgment comes from the highest source.

ambersmerinos said...

It is easy for someone to tell us not to take anything on the business side of our lives personally. However, that is what I am going to say. Don't take faceless customers personally. They do not know you, they will not ever know you, and to allow them to affect the way you view yourself is just not good. Seriously, I try not to let people who do not know me have any say in how I feel about myself. It can be difficult because our business is personal to us, but, we need to keep the customers the customers. We need to remember that they are customers responding to a company and as that company, we treat them with respect and understanding from the company. So, try and see the complaints as going towards your company and improve the company, but do not see them as complaints about you. This is also a part of our spiritual growth. How confident are you in who you are created to be in Christ? Can you take the criticizm and not internalize it? Don't turn away from this challenge to your personal growth, embrace it. Remember, if it gets to be too much, ask yourself if God feels the way the person does about you? If not, then it is a lie and you do not need to entertain it any longer. God says you are precious and honored in His sight (it is in Isaiah, 40 something). You are, He is, and no one else's oppinion matters one bit.
Love and hugs,

Anonymous said...

I'm just glad you are you, that you design gorgeous knits and that you have a really nice thought-provoking blog. Thanks for being who you are.