Sunday, January 10, 2010

Challenging Assumptions and Limitations

I had hoped to post next about the delight of having Sandra Rude visit San Diego and give our guild a marvelous program called The Magic of Interleaved Threadings. It was absolutely fascinating, and augmented with a table full of gorgeous scarves. She topped it off with handouts including colored images of drafts! I was especially taken with her description of the inspiration for some of her work - a teacher had told her to find an element of nature that inspired her, and find a way to weave it. Now, this tickled me in particular because the very first weaving class I took, when it was time to plan our first project, I was asked by the teacher what I wanted to weave. "I want to weave water!" I replied. She gave me a funny look and suggested I think about it a while longer and let her know when I had picked my yarns and draft. :-)

The bad news is that apparently the batteries for my camera have reached the limits of their age, and they don't recharge properly anymore. So.... I wasn't able to get any pictures. Sandra let me take a picture with her camera, which she is going to email to me. With her permission, I'll post that here when I get it.

In the meantime, I want to talk about all this new year's stuff. I'm not making resolutions this year - not even the "in action" kind that I made last year (which apparently didn't take.) It's no secret that I've been stalled again, and for quite a while. Of course, not weaving doesn't mean I'm not doing a lot of other things, but it still bothers me greatly that I'm not getting any weaving done.

So... I've been thinking about my situation, and something occurred to me. I have some built-in limitations that I have not challenged in the past. Perhaps I could win some newly inspired activity just by challenging those unquestioned assumptions about my own limitations. Here are the two main ones that come to mind.
  • I am a person who does not enjoy wet-messy processes.
Okay, in the past, this has been true. I'm not much for painting, or for dyeing, or for cooking, for that matter. These are what I categorize as "wet-messy processes", and so I've tended to avoid them - justifying it by saying to myself that it is just the way I am. But why is that? And why can't that change? I don't know if I'll do anything about this, but I've put myself on notice that there may be some wet-messy adventures ahead of me!
  • I need large blocks of time to do anything creative - no 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there for me!
I have friends who will do all kinds of things in tiny bits of available time. I even have one friend who keeps her knitting handy and knits at red lights and in traffic jams! Me - I've always thought in the past that it was too hard to switch gears to do bits of things - that I need at least an hour of available time before I'll jump into something. But is that really true? And doesn't it reflect more a lack of preparation rather than a proclivity? What if I were to have some projects (a variety of them, because ironically, I *am* a magpie) already setup, with everything already at hand to begin work, maybe even with a post-it note telling me the exact next step to take. That would avoid the mental context switch that seems so cumbersome that I avoid having to make it.

I'm not promising anything, but I wonder what could happen if I became a person who can change focus at will and is oblivious to drippy messes? It's actually sounding rather fun and intriguing to discover the answer to that question!

And on a good note - at the Unity Center I attend, we start every year with a White Stone meditation. In ancient times, prisoners were given a white stone with their "new name", signifying that they had paid their dues and were now free to begin a new life. During the meditation, we're guided to find our own personal white stone word for the coming year - a quality, an aspect - something we want to manifest more in our lives. Each year, I go to that service with an idea already in mind for what I think my white stone word will be. This year, I thought it was going to be "acceptance" (a positive way to say non-judgment.) But, nope, something else came through in the meditation, and my white stone word for 2010 is HeartSong. And I love it. So although I'm making no specific resolutions - my goal for this year is to find and follow what makes my heart sing. I like that.


Peg in South Carolina said...

A lot of stuff does not large blocks of time, dyeing, designing, working out draft problems come to mind. But a lot of stuff can be fit in in small bits of time. Threading heddles or sleying the reed are two good examples. Winding bouts of yarn. Right now i am winding 1" bouts of 60/2 silk, 54 epi, and am extraordinarily busy with some important non-weaving issues. But i find tht if I squeeze in winding only one bout, I feel much better.

Life Looms Large said...

That's cool that you got to take a class from Sandra Rude....even if we don't get photographic proof!

Interesting approach to challenge assumptions. (I actually have that wet-messy dislike too. I like to cook, but mostly to bake....all those nice, dry powdery ingredients! No meat and veggies!) I'll be interested to see where this takes you. You know I'm a big fan of working on things 15 minutes at a time....then I don't get bored and I can easily make myself do almost anything for 15 minutes!! Of course, it takes time to get a project in a state where you can work on it for 15 minutes here and there. And there's that inertia to overcome when you're trying to get started.

I've been thinking/reading about time management lately again. Even though I'm finally doing well with spending time in my studio and producing work (not necessarily with blogging about that work), I always feel like there's other important stuff I'm not fitting it. Still working out the balance of it all!

I chose a word for the year at my UU church this year too. (If I had heard your word beforehand, I might have claimed it myself. Yours is a good one!)

Hope you make some breakthroughs. I know it's frustrating when important parts of your life aren't getting the time or attention they need.