In another time and place

Life intervenes, and takes time away from weaving and mending. At times like this, I think about one of my French ancestors who was a weaver. He lived in a time and place where this was an honorable and necessary craft, like that of the miller who is my most distant ancestor, and even the watchmaker who was the last of the family to have a trade.

What would that weaver-ancestor think of my strange cloth? Would he be grateful that someone in the family still knows a shuttle from a reed, or would he despise the strange, coarse fabric that I create?

4 thoughts on “In another time and place

  1. i was just in london. there is an area there that the huegonots lived after they fled france. they bought houses and on the top floors had their looms. they put silk under the floor boards to muffle the sounds of the looms. don’t you wonder if we lived there in a past life. i think of that..

  2. Indeed. If I wasn’t there in space and time I was there in spirit. Every throw of the shuttle, every stitch I take, I feel I am strengthening connections with my foremothers. The repetitive motions of weaving and stitching bring on a light trance state, and there is enough of my mind free to wander.

    That old Chinese proverb is so true: When the hands remember, the mind is free.

  3. i am back again to this post. it speaks to me.
    i think that the last quote..
    that is why i like to do repetitive weaving that is simple. i love the throw of the shuttle and the beat of the beater. i love just doing it over and over and letting my mind be free.
    stitching is the same. aren’t we lucky?

  4. We are so fortunate. While I also sit on a cushion to meditation the Zen way, I find that my time working with cloth is equally a meditation, and I have something to show for it at the end. Well, Thich Nhat Hanh has written much about doing everyday things in a mindful way, so mindful stitching and weaving is what I strive to do.

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