Questions in the Forest

Things always come up that make me ask questions. This week, it was pain and isolation felt within the knitting community over exclusive behaviours. So, I thought I’d write about it from my perspective, sort of:

From early childhood, attention was drawn to cleaning up the mess. Man’s inhumanity to man. Mistakes. Personal inadequacies. Bad behaviour. Spilt milk. Mine, theirs, ours.

Enormous energy was channelled, almost completely, into correction, alignment, achievement. At least that’s how it seems to me.

But, I had mostly questions.

“You must be very wrong,” I said to myself. For years and years and years. “You must be wrong.” And that’s it. And a brick wall.

A few things happened. A child or two. Free time. A bit of nature. Maybe a forest. A question. These things, especially in combination it turns out, have the power to break down the brick wall.

No matter the person, his history, her biology, when a question is asked in any environment, something will grow. Especially when asked in community. Just two or three. You and me.



A question creates. Unites, sometimes. Clarifies. It is a thing we can all identify with and use. It is a thing which can open up space and possibilities. The open-ended question. Sometimes, not the possibilities you want. Even the multiple choice question can show you something. Or the dreaded yes or no question. But, the open-ended question is a real thing of beauty.

So, rather than doing the habitual thing and turning away from mistakes, bad behaviour, even evil; Rather than shutting out life by shutting out death (which can’t be done anyway) and rather than believing there is a perfect side to join, a ideal club to belong to or a fixed way to do things, I choose to be here with you, in the forest, and to ask:

Who are we?

What’s going on here?

What are the perspectives?

Where do we come from?

Where are we going?

How will we get there?

These, and many more questions, in all sorts of scenarios.

There is also silence. And I think silence is most intriguing. Who is not able or willing to speak for themselves and why?

It’s not really possible to clean up a mess if you don’t know why it is there or where it came from. May I be slow to fix (“I need to fix that.” – what an audacious attitude, anyway!), quick to listen and always, always ask the questions.




Courage and Community


I veer,

towards lists,

towards black and white.

Towards making things right.

I make a straight line,

out of natural curves,

to try,

to fly

without wings.

But the moment

Requires something else,

A courage,

Stepping out,

Making friends with Death.

And don’t forget

the people,

the community of things

that came before,


In disarray,

along the way

And still to come.

In other words


in all its shades

of grey.


and Community,

I say.