Time has a compulsive curiousity for me. Why, for example, did I feel the necessity this morning to lie in bed for half an hour when I was wide awake and wanting to get up?! It’s because it’s a Sunday, and somehow I feel programmed to have a compulsory ‘lie-in’ on a Sunday! It was beautiful outside, and during my walk with Charlie, I was delighted to see the buds bursting out on the trees and bushes. And yet, psychologically, I was resisting getting up to enjoy the start of my day purely because it’s Sunday.
During my weaving this week, I was thinking about geological time. I was weaving a long piece for my masters. I have no idea how it will turn out, and was feeling a little panicky at times because it is so open-ended. If I wanted to change things, how quickly could I change them? Would it start to look a mish-mash if I changed too many things too quickly? I am focussing on rock surfaces exposed to the elements that were first created through the actions of plate tectonics and mountain building.
Just thinking about how those processes occur and the length of time it takes to accomplish such a thing got me slowing down with my weaving decisions. The further I got on with the length, the less concerned I was with making changes, and more aware of serendipitous happenings such as a shaft not lifting when it should and what effect that would have on the end result. I am using multiple wefts – in fact four – to create each pick, so the weaving is very slow. In fact it’s taken me 2 1/2 months to weave this 6 yd length. I did have a bout of back problems so I couldn’t weave for a while, but even so, this is slow-going.
Then I had the idea to video the weaving of it, showing the repetitive, meditative quality of this slow weaving. During the weaving, and nearing the end, I found myself really enjoying the process of placing the shuttles in exactly the correct position so that I knew which one I was picking up next and the inherent rhythms of the piece. I started to realise that this was my tiny insight into the processes of the earth, the slowness of each pick relative to the whole piece. A tiny glimmer of light, a flicker of understanding, a tentative extending of a fragile green tendril in spring.