In a previous season of life, the one without children and mortgage payments, I spent hours at a time in my weaving studio. I find the process-oriented nature of weaving so peaceful and meditative, like a heartfelt prayer whispered on soft breath.
Once I entered my season of young mothering, there were no resources left for weaving. All of my creative energy, all of my time, all of my thoughts, went towards growing and nurturing my four babes. The weaving studio was packed, and left in a friend’s basement.
Recently, our church moved into a new building. Like all new spaces, the new church building brought with it some aesthetic quandries that we never encountered in the old building.
“We need wall hangings,” someone said.
“I want to weave something,” I said.
And so, without really volunteering, and without really being asked, it has somehow come to be understood that I’m weaving seasonal wall hangings for the new church space.
Looking around, I realized that there was no readily available spot in which to set up my weaving spot. I passed through a brief moment of sighing and started to resign myself to the fact that there was simply not enough room in my house and in my life for weaving. ~sigh
But then, my inner creativity-starved self put her foot down and said, “No! I will have a weaving space!” And once she said that, the rest of me realized that she deserved it.
We parted with a shabby coffee table, moved the chairs several feet closer to the couch, and we relocated a media cabinet once intended for the kiddos record collection, now housing my shuttles and spindles. And my loom has a cozy window of its own in the living room. It’s the first thing you see when you come in the door. Depending on what kind of a day it is at our house, you might trip over it when you walk in.
And I am reacquainting myself with my rusty, dusty weaving knowledge. I checked out from the library all of the texts that I used in my weaving classes in college, along with a few new ones that looked promising. I’m remembering how to calculate how much yarn I need, how to make a warp in such a way that the threads can be put back in order on the loom, and how to chart my design so that I can remember what I’ve done and do it again.
I’m being quite ambitious. It’s the largest project I’ve ever woven, and I’m approaching it after a 12 year weaving sabbatical. But the thing that I see in my head is so beautiful and rich with meaning that I’m dying for others to see it, too. And so, I weave.
All these years I’ve been waiting for a convenient time and a convenient place, for something in life to open up and leaving a space that says Insert Weaving Here. If I have learned nothing else from life, mothering in particular, I’ve at least learned this: that if I wait for convenient, it will never happen. I must choose to make the time and the space.
Making that choice is a daily decision, and I’m still working on it. When I find myself with 15 minutes in between finishing up the morning dishes and starting the afternoon school lessons, it’s my habit to use the time starting a load of towels. But whenever I find myself in these moments, whenever I hear myself say to myself “It’s a good time to scrub the floor/wipe the counter/prep some veggies/weed the garden” I replace it with, “It’s a great time for art-making.” And that puny, undernourished creative self inside of me smiles and sighs.
(P.S. Helping me in my journey to reconnecting to that puny, undernourished creative self is Emily Freeman’s newest book, A Million Little Ways. Find it here. This is not a sponsored post, just an authentic old-time book recommendation. Emily says everything about art that I always knew I believed but hadn’t gotten around to saying.)