A friend gave me a subscription to the Sun magazine after I taught her to knit. The magazine contains examples of personal writing, some of it highly skilled and deeply moving, some that might fall into indulgent but it always provokes a response. I really appreciate it and look forward to it every month. In the latest issue, in the body of an interview which was itself quite interesting, I read a phrase that has been rolling around in my mind as a result. The phrase refers to another writer as an “explorer of the undiscovered country of the nearby.”
This phrase made me stop and re-read it, again and again. In our practise we often talk about “sanctifying the mundane”. Not the same thing exactly, but pointing in the same general direction.
Nearby – what is nearby? In the context of the article the writer spoke about getting to know where we live, and not making nature “other”. “Nature” is not somewhere we go to, from somewhere else. Something separate, a concept in a box. I am not paraphrasing well at all, but it is quite an idea isn’t it, to think that the natural world is the patch of grass in front of our parking lot here in the city where the coyote strolled by the other day. The spider in the house that terrifies the neurotic cats. We do live together, skillfully or not.
Our teacher was in our home today and he spoke at some length about our ethical relationship with all things, including the objects of everyday life. He reminded us that the inanimate object deserves our respect and care as do animals and the environment we live in. He spoke about listening with our hearts.
It is unlikely the photo will give more than an impression of this project but I am besotted with it. It’s a silk warp, dyed with some kind of natural dye, and the weft is handspun BFL/silk. Handspun has proven to be wonderful with this kind of weaving. Despite being a firmer cloth than knitted, despite the wool being trapped within the warp threads, there really is life to it. It is straight twill – I wanted the weave to be simple enough to let the yarn shine, but something a wee bit more complex than plain weave.The selvedges are a bit bumpy but I will see how this finishes up off the loom before I judge it. Just a scarf, but when I was seated in front of the loom yesterday just looking at it, I think I got it. The “click” when it all comes together. I like this. Very much.
“Nearby” my house.
(Oh and a quick note to the person who wondered about how the number 10 crochet cotton wove and finished. It worked just fine! Not the most thirsty towels in the world but they softened up beautifully. I will definitely use it again for this kind of project.)