On days when I’m feeling especially scattered I now find myself sneaking off to the weaving room, in much the way that last fall I’d go kayaking to unwind after stressful meetings. In each case I’m seeking a way to untangle a snarled mind.
The shuttles we use are called “boat shuttles”; they’re shaped like kayaks.
The action of weaving, moving the shuttle back and forth across the warp, has not yet become meditative for me. I’m still too aware of each step, each count, each possible glitch. And to the degree that I do “lose myself” a bit I find that it shows up in the cloth. You can trace my thoughts by the weave structure: unpleasant memories appear as tightly constrained versions of my “M’s and O’s” pattern; interludes of contentment yield smoother, rounder O’s and cleaner selvedge–or not.
For a time I thought the pattern might reflect the music on my iPod: I set a Genius mix from Rufus Wainwright’s “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk” and got some Cat Stevens, Alanis Morissette, Talking Heads, Rolling Stones, Suzanne Vega, and Radiohead. I expected my beat–my rate of moving the shuttle back and forth, the rhythm and pressure as I beat each row–would match the beat of the music but it didn’t seem to. Instead, it seemed to almost always reflect my stream-of-consciousness, a tapestry weaving itself in its own space and time according to its own teleology.