Sarasvati, portrayed here in this statue which was a gift from my teacher is known in both the Buddhist and the Hindu traditions. Her full meaning has more depth than I wish to go into here, (and more depth than I fully understand) but she is associated with a number of characteristics. She is known as a guardian of those who practise the dharma, and is appreciated in particular by those who practise the arts. She is often shown playing a stringed instrument, seated on a lotus. She is associated with flowing water – so many metaphors that point at what we do! Anyhow, this statue sits in the studio/spare room where I fuddle along with my projects. (The Hand of Fatima in the background is not Buddhist, it was also a gift and it seemed to co-exist just fine. If only people would co-exist without worry.) It seems important to carve out a bit of a space, however small and ordinary, to sit and spin and weave in peace. (The knitting goes everywhere.)
Sunshine and I walked the beach in the wind today. The eagles were out in great numbers, we counted at least a dozen soaring in the strong gusts. Sunshine is my sister, a chosen sister. It is, on the surface, not a likely pairing given our age differences and backgrounds. We met through the wonderful organization Big Sisters and by good fortune it has been a great match from the start. I think we both worried – what if we really don’t like each other? That worry fell away pretty quickly.
Mentorship manifests in so many ways and I don’t think we realize the impact a good part of the time. I asked my Aunt H if she remembered an embroidered table-cloth she made for me when I was about 14. She didn’t remember it at all, which is fine, but that little blue checked cloth had a significant impact. It was hand-made. It was made specifically for me, a kid who often felt unseen and awkward. It went from place to place as I moved into the adult world and it was a bit of a wrench when it was finally discarded, stained and well used. It gave an intangible gift along with its simple function.
The Big/Little friendship is reciprocal – it is definitely not one “doing things for” the other. We do activities I might forget to do otherwise – walking on the beach admiring the eagles, and cracking each other up.
There is an experiment going on with the weaving. A friend gave me roughly 9,000 metres of wool singles on cones that she came across. I am not sure how this will wash and feel off the loom but it seemed a good time to stretch a bit and think about looms. The rigid heddle is fast to warp, easy to use and there is a lot of room to move with different warp structures, using pick up and a second heddle. Years of stuff to learn. I like the loaner loom from the class, but am not yet convinced, three warps later, that the fussiness of getting it warped and going is actually worth it for what I wish to make. (It’s noisy too and that may be adversely effecting the joy of use. I know that is a totally fixable issue with swapping out the heddles. Listen to me, I sound like I know what I am talking about!) Anyhow, with this enormous amount of free yarn I can run the two looms sort of simultaneously. I am not committing to anything but this is a good opportunity to see what direction I enjoy best. I am looking forward to finishing up this yardage of 3/1 lace on the rigid heddle. I warped it putting two ends in each hole/slot so it is technically a kind of basket weave I guess. I really hope I can use this for more than yet another scarf. And I promised my husband to not cover every inch of space in our house in cozies.