Crazy as a Loom

Saturday, January 2, 2010


From Crazy as a Loom

Like I said, I am nostalgic of late. Or maybe just open to memories, flashbacks of days I thought I had forgotten.
Weaving has taught me a lot about myself. I found it later in my life, and didn't expect to be so smitten. The color, the texture, the incredible way that the woven piece appears before me. I can't explain it. I am willing to go through all the planning, the winding, the warping, the threading, the sleying, all of it, to get to that place where the shuttle flies back and forth, and whatever I have chosen to weave begins to take form. I especially love creating rag rugs as I go. Spontaneously, right off the top of my head. Sometimes I hate them, but sometimes I love them, and it is worth taking the chance. Taking old jeans, sock seconds, fabric scraps, and bringing them back as something brand new, well, it just make me "hot", as my DH would jokingly say.
I kind of knew a long time ago, that I needed to work with my hands. I needed to create something in front of me that came from some deep need inside of me. It made me happy, made me complete in some way that nothing else quite did.
And a picture comes to me clearly.
A barn in the country, that I had rehabbed into a 'studio' of sorts. Some track lighting, some huge old work tables that I had bought at a garage sale. Oh, that's another tale.....these tables that someone built to use as they were building their house, and then had no need for. They made an hour trip home tied 8 ft high on my little Toyota pickup.
But they were perfect to work on, and I see myself, sitting on a stool in front of one of them, dried flowers everywhere, making wreaths. It is dark out, and where I lived then, dark was really dark. The round oak stove behind me was cranking out the heat, silently. I was alone, very much alone, and I was content with that.
My life was mostly a wreck at that time. Alcoholism, someone else's, not mine, was wreaking havoc on everyone in my household. There was no light at the end of the tunnel for me right then, none that I was aware of. It all seemed a cruel joke. There were two jobs to be thankful for, nursing part time in an Emergency room and full time in a maximum security prison, two jobs that wore me down to an exhaustion I didn't realize I owned until much later. There were beautiful children that suffered along with me. There was a house, an old house in the country, that I struggled to hold onto, in spite of the odds.
So, I had not much reason to be smiling.
But this night, alone in a barn, with not one bit of experience making dried flower wreaths, I was happy. I remember distinctly thinking that the world could have stopped right then and there, and it was OK. I don't know why. But from some corner of my brain, some remote little place in my psyche, there was this certainty that change was on its way. I didn't know from where it would come. I didn't think about it really. It just WAS. A serenity came over me, a strength that brought a smile to my face, even while it brought tears to my eyes. It was all going to be OK, better than OK, it was going to be wonderful.

And on the garage find tape player in the corner, played this. Sade. And whenever I hear her voice, and this song, Cherish the Day, it all comes back to me. That feeling. That life is precious, no matter what. That there is a power greater than all of us, a power that brings us together, that makes us strong in any situation. Like all those random threads, sometimes we sit on the shelf,and we don't know what is next. But life comes along, and weaves us all together, into a perfect cloth.


weaverpat said...

Thank you, Hilary for that bittersweet rememberance of your moment in time.
Hope the New Year brings peace and happiness.

Gail said...

Very well said and you reminded of the feeling I have when I paint, there is no time, no worry just me and the paint.

I felt your pain.

Your dream has come true, you just had to believe.

Anonymous said...

Sade's music was good for me at one time in my life as well. I think she makes us feel what is of importance with her soothing sound. Just sort of makes everything else around me disappear when I hear her music.

Lovely post and reveals a bit of who YOU are.

The Blue Ridge Gal

Country Girl said...

Very revealing post here, Hilary. What cheers me is that you found something that you enjoy. Something you're 'hot' for! And you are quite adept at this new calling. I have several of your pieces of art in my home. And I love that you're doing something that you're smitten with!

KarenInTheWoods said...

Hilary... I love you for being you, and for all you have experienced to get here now. I cherish your friendship and wish you all the best in the New Year!

Becky said...

Hilary, your words here about how you pulled through those difficult times, really do generate a sense of hope and resillience, which is so good to hear, and in a way quite comforting.

Michael said...

That was absolutely fantastic to read. Thank you. You even managed to weave that barn night picture into my brain. I mean, I can see that, with the song. How cool is that?? Awesome.

Hilary said...

What a powerful post, Hilary. I'm glad you drew the strength you needed at that particular moment in time. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

I recently told a loved one, "One of these days I'm going to tell you it's me or the beer."

That day has come and gone. While his choice has created upheaval, so has mine. Might need to print out this lovely post to remind me that it WILL get better. Thank you Hilary.

homesteadweaver said...

Bless you, sista' ... so glad you found your outlet in weaving and WRITING ... you make a great read.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on POTW mention! Well done and I very much appreciated the read. Some of us must create and heal somehow while doing so.

LadyFi said...

So beautiful - gives me hope and inspiration about finding out what those loose threads are for!

Brian Miller said...

really a wonderful post. we are all woven together in an amazing tapestry...our memories provide the color...congrats on the POTW mention.

Land of shimp said...

That was a very nice post, Hilary. I like the sense of weaving as a metaphor for life. After all, we all take the materials we have in our life, and try to put them together in a workable, pleasant shape, something strong that holds together.

In actual life that is sometimes easier than others. I'm so glad you found something that helped you, and made you feel capable when the materials of your own life felt so unwieldy.

Congrats on the post of the week, by the way!

Anonymous said...

I see you at those old loved tables, in your barn, and I see your face light up with a secret smile. Lovely tale, beautifully told. Thank's to Hilary for pointing us in your direction by way of her Post of the Week on her Smitten Image blog.

blunoz said...

Very well written. Our pastor was just saying at church last Sunday that our life is like a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. Only God knows what the finished puzzle will look like. Only He can see the image on the front of the box. We can only see a couple of pieces here and there and don't know how they will all fit together in the end. Some pieces are dark and depressing. Some pieces are bright and happy. Together, they'll compose a complete picture someday. "...for in ALL things, God works for the good of those who love Him..." (Romans 8:28)

Congrats on Post of the Week!

Unknown said...

So beautifully written. What a lovely post. I love that you used the word smitten. It is one of my favorites :)

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts