Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Monday, 2 March 2015

Monster Mash: Catching Up From Toe to Head

It's been a rough couple of weeks. Everyone came down with a virus which manifested itself in a variety of interesting ways. I ventured out of the house a few days ago, after many days on the couch. The positive side of being ill but not "I think I'm going to die" ill is that you can get a lot accomplished, although it may not be what you'd planned. I read Katy Bowman's book, Alignment Matters. I'm now more obsessed with feet than ever and have been walking around with lines drawn from my second toe to the front of my ankle as a reminder to keep my feet forward. I'm also the proud owner of some rather goofy looking Foot Alignment Socks, which I love and would wear even if they don't do what they claim: 
Foot Alignment Socks will comfort and rejuvenate your feet after a hard day of working, running, walking or just being active. . . . These socks give comfort and help to relieve common foot ailments such as bunions, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, foot cramps, toe cramps, crooked toes and general foot discomfort. (Liner Notes)
Whew! That's a pretty tall order. So far, I've noticed that they widen the spaces between my toes (a good thing) which has lead to a purge of the last few pairs of narrow shoes I own (likely also a good thing).

I've also been weaving a small free form, no cartoon, no plan tapestry, which, if things go well, will be a sample for an article I'm writing. I'm weaving on a makeshift cardboard loom, which has its own challenges, but it's a pleasure to work with a tool so simple yet which holds many possibilities. Here is the front of the piece, woven with hand dyed, hand spun singles:

And the back:

I'm nearing the top of the loom and am planning the finishing techniques. There is trim and a lining involved, which means (gasp) sewing, which means I will have to find that old Singer machine I have packed away. Those of you who know me know that I'm allergic to sewing, so I have to coax myself into the process gradually.

Lastly, I spent yesterday at a workshop with Robin Golt, on aspects of the Mind in yoga philosophy. Robin's teaching were based on Kashmir Shaivism, a system unfamiliar to me, so I was thrown into Beginner's Mind. Robin had one of the most simple, clear explanations of the difference between practicing yoga and exercising that I've encountered: If you are not taking the time to reflect upon the poses, it's not yoga. In order to practice yoga, we must combine the work of the body and the work of the mind.

There you have it: a little bit of attention to the toes, some work with the hands and the eyes, a whole lotta thinking  and contemplation going on. It's been a productive illness, but I think I'm done now. I'm ready for some of those warm March winds that carry the promise of Spring. I can smell them. I can taste them. They're out there, somewhere. I can feel it.


(Happy Birthday to my sister, Shelley!)  

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