The summer before I went away to Smith College, I enrolled in a tapestry weaving course at my local community college. I felt strongly that if I didn’t learn to weave, right that very minute, that the opportunity might slip past me and that I might never weave at all.
It was a glorious summer, and I learned as much about the world as I did about warp and weft. I was probably the youngest student in the course, and other than the anti-war movement that my whole family was involved in, I had grown up very sheltered from the rest of the world. I came away from the course with a love of both spinning and weaving, and a brain filled with the wonders of environmental activism, utopian societies and a belief that the individual has power to change the world. Who knew that my political beliefs would be formed thread by thread?
I’ve picked up my tapestry bobbins again, reaching back through time to remember how. I still have the instinct for expansive sweeps of color, broad lines sketched on paper, and then ignored as the weaving comes to life. I need to regain the gift of working more freely, adding little grace notes of color and texture as the work takes on its own life. This work is flat, intellectual, and too methodical.
Changing the world, one thread at a time. I still believe in that.
And, hand-to-hand, we cast the circle.
(Tapestry, Hands of the Goddess, Embracing Us All)