Sharing creative space has more benefits than drawbacks. It allows for unexpected eddies of idea to flow back and forth across a table, across a room. While I hold pen she holds hook or needle. Sentences tangle across my page while woollen circles come to life in her hands.
I see the things she has made in ways other than she intended. My writer’s eye turns them into creatures from beneath the sea - sponges and anemones. Unlikely lichens crusting strange trees.
I see pieces that draw in on themselves and others that sprawl, refusing to have a uniform outline. I see ones that are dense and others that are wiling to let light through. I realise that all of these accusations can be levelled at my writing. The company of her crocheted clouds keeps me warm.
Before too long my first word doily is taking shape on my page. I turn the paper as I work. My letters are stitches, my phrases chains. I start off neater than I finish. My written hand loses meaning – the words become mere wiggled lines of ink. And in this form even my errors start to appeal. A wonky letter or a word repeated where it shouldn’t be – my equivalent of a dropped stitch, a loose section.
From a distance, like an overheard conversation, only the pattern vaguely recognisable – but as you draw closer, words and perhaps meaning start to take shape.