It’s been six months since I left my job at the Bookmark. A lot has happened. I’ve been trying to find new, more sustainable rhythms in my life, but like everyone else, life happened while I was making other plans.
Last fall, I started teaching a tapestry weaving class at the OLLI program here. It’s been very successful and a lot of fun. We shifted to an online format in March because of the pandemic and I spent my time shifting handouts and tutorials to Thinkific and holding weekly sessions on Zoom as I also continued to work on Vibrant Vessels, which is evolving nicely, if slowly.
I came down with bronchitis around this time, the second bout in less than 12 months, so by late April, I was getting very tired and as much as I love teaching and developing courses, I knew that by the end of the semester I would need a break, so for the first two weeks of June, my computer stayed off, I stayed pretty much offline and did my best not to think about anything but my own studio work.
I say ‘pretty much’ because it was difficult not to at least keep up with the news headlines about Covid and then the protests, but I limited myself to 30 minutes of news a day, didn’t check my email for two weeks and stayed off social media—which I don’t use that much, but it all adds up. After a day or two of adjusting, I didn’t miss it at all. And, my mind began to unclench and relax. Time began to expand. It’s not just that I had more of it because I wasn’t online and on the computer, but my organic sense of time reawakened. And, I began dreading the 15th when I’d be getting online again.
I have been back online for two weeks now. I don’t start up my computer until the afternoon, which leaves my mornings free for weaving and other studio work and I stay unplugged all weekend. This has reduced my anxiety a lot because I’m not checking on ‘things’ many times throughout the day. I’m still anxious of course but it feels more manageable now. I have stuck to my 30-minute limit on news each day fairly well, with a couple of relapses. I have cleared my email inbox by unsubscribing to most of the website lists I was on and now get about 35 emails a day instead of the 150 a day I was getting. Best of all, I have actually completed a weaving just for me!
Here it is:
I call it Desert Solitude. It’s small (about 4″ x 6″) and based on a painting I did years ago (a blurry photo of a photo along with some of the yarns I used, but you get the idea)
I think it turned out fairly well. This was a color study for a larger, more complex weaving I have in the back of my mind. But, that’s for another day.
What am I doing now? I am back to Vibrant Vessels with fresh eyes and renewed enthusiasm. I have another weaving on my 8 shaft Jane loom—a set of towels I started a year and a half ago to learn 8 shaft weaving. Once they are off the loom, I will transfer a twill tapestry from my 4 shaft floor loom to the Jane. (The floor loom became too difficult for me to use with my joint issues and my wonderful husband gave me the Jane for my 60th birthday.) I also have a new coil piece bubbling about in my brain—so many good things ahead!
My fervent prayers and good wishes to you and your families. Take care.