Amy and I met back in our New York days. Her mother-in-law is a professor at the college where I worked for many years, and one day as Dr. C. and I chatted, she said that I really should meet Amy, that we would hit it off. We were both married to musicians, both writers, both into fashion. Dr. C. is a good matchmaker. Before too long, we met, and a friendship was created.
Months into our friendship, my ex-husband and I separated. I lost several friends, some because they thought they had to pick a side, some because that is just what happens in divorce, I suppose. Amy managed to walk the line gracefully, though. She was kind to me when I needed to share my sadness, but she never spoke ill of my ex. She encouraged me when I decided to apply to MFA programs, even reading a shitty draft of my shitty first novel and giving me good feedback on it. She gave me my first taste of being taken seriously as a fiction writer.
There were other firsts: my first Kate Spade sample sale was with her; my first sushi (on the train...what fun) was with her. Amy was the only person among my friends and family to attend my first public reading of a story. She stayed in the city after she'd finished a long day's work, listened to a story that probably wasn't that good at the time, cheered for me.
When I moved to NM, we kept in touch a bit, but not as much as either would have liked. Then I discovered something wonderful: Amy had moved from NY to MA, to Northampton, only a 45-minute drive from me when I was at Neal's house.
Suddenly, living in CT, which had seemed like a kiss of cultural death to me (still does on occasion. I confess to snobbery) was not as bad. My writing pal, my fashion pal, my pal who had known me in that other life would be close by.
But now she's far away again. So after I wiped tears away as I started my drive home from that lunch last fall, I did what any self-respecting fiber fanatic would do: I stopped at Webs to pick up a few skeins of yarn to make something for Amy. Something that would let her know I love her.
That's what we crafters do. We put our sadness, our love, our friendship into every inch of a scarf. We create a visceral way to share our feelings, to keep ourselves close to those we miss.
Tomorrow the bi-coastal scarf will be in the mail, wending its way to that other coast. I hope every time Amy flips it around her neck, she thinks of our fabulous times together and hopes, as I do, for more of them.