Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Friday, 1 April 2011


I woke up to the sound of birds singing.  It's been a long, long time since we heard that sound.  March was too cold, even for the hardiest of the sparrows that winter here.  Mick the cat is sitting on the front step, taking in the action.  The sparrows are safe-Mick, never much of a hunter, is an old guy now.  His ramblings are confined to a brisk walk down and up the steps to our flowerbed.  Then, it's back in the house for a feed to stave off starvation from the exercise and into his box for a snooze.  Not shy about any other thing, Mick is reluctant to have his picture posted.  Since he's amazingly gorgeous, I don't understand this.  Here is a shot from a couple of summers ago:

I've made some resolutions for April, part of which is my "one spindle' challenge.  I'm beginning my challenge with 4 ounces of qiviuq/silk, the blend I mixed in June 1991.  (No, that's not a typo.)  The scrap of paper in the bag notes the date, the cost, the weight and the supplier, but I didn't record the percentage of qiviuq to silk.  It looks and feels like 50/50.

There's a lesson in there, somewhere, I suppose.  We think we'll remember; we plan to get to things soon, straight away.  In a flash, soon is long past, straight away is gone and we're back in right now, speculating on the percentages in an exotic fibre blend.
Can you see the inconsistency of the yarn?  It's not due to the blending.  I prepared the fibres well.  The qiviuq is shorter than the silk, so that accounts for some of it, but the fact is that I'm not bothered by inconsistency, much.  I admire beautiful, evenly spun yarns, especially handspun yarns, but I'm no longer interested in spinning this way.  Inconsistency charms me.

I'm practising to be charmed by inconsistency in people, including myself.  Although I try to walk a steady path, wandering off track points the way to my connection with all people, all things.  Learning to accept inconsistency, viewing inconsistency as flow increases compassion.  It allows for change and growth.

One of the exercises I practise when I sit in spinning meditation is "Getting Into the Zone."  I focus attention on the drafting zone, the small triangle seated between the yarn just formed and the fibre which will form the yarn to follow.  The drafting zone is my "Now," so to speak.  By keeping full attention there, I remind myself to stay present.  When I stay in the Now, the yarn takes care of itself.

An Irish Buddhist blessing:

May you be happy.
May you be well.
May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows you're dead.

Happy April Fool's Day!


  1. Both fiber and spindle are absolutely stunning! Don't get too attached to the spring weather. We have snow forecast for the weekend, like we don't have enough moisture on the ground already.

  2. And here it's coming down, now! As Sharon said, "Well, we had two lovely days of spring!"