Our Publisher Linda Ligon posted a photograph of herself on Facebook earlier this week from her current travels in China. She’s sitting at a loom in the photo and dashed a quick a note about how Chinese and American looms work the same. Looking at her, looking at the loom, and wondering what she was working out in her mind, reminded me of an essay she wrote many years ago about how spinning and weaving connect us. I love that she’s wandering out in the world, making those connections for us, and still discovering the little things that make you laugh inside.
From This is How I Go When I Go Like This, here’s Linda:
Those Little Things That Make You Laugh Inside
Poets and dreamers have been comparing weaving and spinning to life for centuries, and I’ve been thinking about it myself for at least the past three decades. You’ve got our warp, the constants (though they have their ups and downs) . . . your weft, the material life deals you daily . . . your continuous thread . . . your knots and breaks, your raggedy edges, your rhythms and colors and patterns. Just like life!
Think of the burble of joy you’ve felt watching somebody’s baby take its first staggering, drunken toddler steps. Or seeing the first tips of daffodils poke up in spring. Those little things that make you laugh inside and think how good it all is. I’ve often had that same feeling when a piece of cloth I’m weaving comes together with a color surprise or a bit of texture or pattern that works better than I ever dreamed it could. Or when the luscious colors of a variegated roving slip through my fingers at the wheel, making sunrise magic.
We use weaving and spinning as metaphors for life
because weaving and spinning connect us to our rich past.
because weaving and spinning connect our brains to our very own hands.
because weaving and spinning connect us to each other.
Fabric of Our Lives
For those of us lucky enough to have the skills, the tools, and the time, weaving and spinning give us meaning, balance, harmony, peace, stimulation, community, friendship, joy—the fabric of our lives, literally and figuratively.
Motivational speakers often pose the question, “If you were on your deathbed, would you look back and be sorry you didn’t spend more time at the office?” The right answer is, of course, no—you’d be sorry you didn’t spend more time with the people you love, or doing the work that will make the world a better place.
I think maybe I’d be sorry I didn’t weave and spin more, too. Because the more I do, the better everything else seems to fit together. The more I weave and spin, the more in touch I am with myself, the more meaning I find in my daily life. You know?