As a Celebrant, I understand how powerful and meaningful symbols can be. So I was delighted when I got this email before my Celebrant graduation in May of last year:
One special event every year is to set aside some time for YOU to talk about who you are and what your path to Celebrancy and your new status as a Celebrant means to you. We do this using the universal language of symbolism, which we study in the course and which deepens and enriches every ceremony we perform.
I spent some time thinking about what I would bring with me, as a symbol of myself and my choice to become a Celebrant. As a knitter, I almost immediately knew I wanted to knit something as this representation. I researched yarn, patterns, and eventually settled on creating a shawl, something I had always wanted to do, but had never attempted (successfully!) before.
I think the intricacy of the lace matches up well with the intricacy of relationships, those ties that hold us together. I picked this color in particular because periwinkle has always felt like a magical color to me, that beautiful ethereal color of the sky that I always felt wasn’t quite real.
Of course, there are a few mistakes in there. I had some trouble transitioning between the charts, mostly because I had to follow the chart blindly when I started it off, and wasn’t able to easily read my knitting. I tried to fix them the best that I could, and I don’t think they take away from the overall look. In fact, I was happy that I had some mistakes that I conquered. That was all part of my grand plan for the shawl.
As a Celebrant, I will get to know a couple, then create and perform an original ceremony for them. This will involve taking elements from many different places – the couple’s own words and cultures, known traditions, and my own creative knowledge.
The same can be said for this shawl. I followed a general pattern, one that many have followed and done before (just as the wedding ceremony). I made my own choices – I made it larger, changed the yarn, chose the color. I even made some mistakes along the way, but I incorporated them into, and made it a part of the piece. Though I followed the “rules” of the pattern, I created a completely unique shawl. Just like when I write wedding ceremonies – I’ll follow the “rules,” but I’ll end with something completely personalized and unique for the couple.
Even if someone liked my shawl so much that they decided to do it exactly the same way, adding extra repeats and the same yarn and same needle size, they would still be different. That’s the beauty of any kind of art, any kind of creativity. By simply writing, simply knitting, you are making something that is completely yours, something that will be memorable, beautiful, and unlike anyone else’s in the world.
What made it even more special – I wore it at the first wedding I officiated, a wonderful backyard wedding over Memorial Day weekend. It was perfect.