Friday, October 11, 2013

Repeat the lesson

Repetition has been a foundation of my life and a cornerstone of my work for decades. Repeating an activity (physical or mental) allows me to get better at it, to work towards perfecting it, to revisit it from an new angle.

Thread by thread.
Repetition is part and parcel in the territory of weaving. One of my mottoes is "thread by thread" thread, by thread, by thread. You get the idea.... by repeating threads I create/build a better weaving.

I also love a daily practice which for me is the repetition of a morning routine. I try to get up at the same time every day. I feed to dog, let her out/in, make tea, then meditate and do some yoga for an hour. This morning pattern sets up a grounding for my day. With the repetition of some form of daily exercise I keep my body healthy. So through repetition, I gain strength, skill and insight.

My trusty tool, my right hand.
But with all good things, there is a dark side. Repetition does have draw backs. As some of you may have read in a past blog,  I had a disc problem in my back about 23 years ago from the repetitive motion of weaving.   Last week, after years of symptoms, I had surgery on my right hand for carpal tunnel syndrome, mostly likely caused by the repetitive motion of spinning, weaving, knitting, stitching, gardening. The good news is that I am healthy, will heal quickly and the surgery has a 90% success rate. So before long I'll be back to all my old repetitive habits, but with new insight and no pain or numbness!
An old sign found in the Macomber shop recently.

The title of this post is "Repeat the Lesson"...which is to say, that like many creatures, I need to revisit old lessons. Lessons from the loom, lessons from the yoga mat and lessons from Mother Nature.The lesson here is that here is that my hands are a valuable tool. They can work hard, but I need to be aware of the potential for over work, for wear and tear. And ....that they can heal, renew and be good for many more years of faithful service. Thank you hands.

Meanwhile, at the Macomber shop, Eddie has been building looms for well over 35 years. His hands are well worn, missing part of one digit and physical evidence of his repeated good work. I stopped by the shop today, got a big bear hug from him and news that all is well with his loom building hands!

 I hope that all you weavers out there take good care of yourselves. As someone who has been weaving for over 40 years, I can attest that this profession can take its toll on one's body. But I can also attest that with respect and care, one's physical body can be of good service to our passion for decades and decades.

Happy weaving my friends ~ Sarah

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