Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Friday, 8 April 2011

Lessons in Impermanence

The snow is melting more each day as we flirt with near normal April temperatures.  Many of us thought the snow would never go, but it is and it will.

We live with impermanence.  No matter how we try, we can't stop change.  Our best approach to change is to embrace it.

This is a "Buddha Board."  I bought it a few years ago.  It's great fun.  Similar to the Etch-a-Sketch that some of us played with as kids, you use water and a brush to "paint" on the board:

In seconds, the painting fades and soon disappears:

You enjoy using the board more if you learn to enjoy these changes.

Some changes aren't that much fun:

These are socks I knitted from hand spun Perendale wool dyed with lichen.  (I thought it was logwood dye, but no.)  They're pretty, I think.  I made them around 1997, so they've done well.  But, they've changed:

I'm not bothered by the repairs at the heels.  Those are standard for me.  Look at the toes.  Do you see the fading?

These socks have been worn and washed dozens of times over the years.  I was impressed with my crafting skills, because umbilicaria lichen, which gives fabulous colours, is a notoriously fugitive dye.  Not the way I do it, or so I thought. 

One day, I left the socks near a sunny window.  When I retrieved them, a few hours later, the colour at the point where the sun hit the toes had faded:

There you go-changes, whether I wanted them or not.  I could overdye the socks; they're still wearable, even as they are.  Some people think the changes are deliberate and I could pretend that they were.  Instead, I'm keeping the socks as they are, as a reminder that nothing is permanent.

And to remind me to close the blinds!


  1. Or you could leave the blinds up and tie the socks for an impermanent shibori effect!

  2. The sun is a horrible theif of colour!! But it brings us so much colour as well!! Your socks are beautiful... even if they do have a reminder that everything changes tied into them...That in a way is beautiful in itself :)

  3. Here in the uk I have woken up to a beautiful sunny morning, its makes me feel great after a gloomy winter. And I agree your socks are beautiful.

  4. Thanks for your kind comments. I agree--colour thief or not, it's wonderful to see that sun!