“I hate my interests” is a quote from the movie Ghost World that entered our family’s vocab years ago, and I was definitely in an “I Hate my Interests” slump before the holidays. I think it was because I had been teaching a lot in the past year and had been planning/thinking/doing projects that were all directed by or serving the classes. In many ways, this was great. My students inspired me in so many ways, and I found myself “discovering” things that I might not have come upon or done as I prepared to teach. But the downside for me was that the playtime that I usually count on for creative and emotional therapy had been lost. I also think that part of of the problem has been the role of “teacher”. Somehow taking on the role of an “authority” no matter how vaguely or minorly, makes me quesy. If it is just me, in my barn, making stuff, with no expectation of it being interesting or “right” the ideas flow. If my goal is to make something pleasing in a somewhat patchworky, funky way, surprisingly the results can be interesting and “right” . So . . . bummer!
The soul’s joy lies in doing. Percy Bysshe Shelley
I warped the big Harrisville with a hemp blanket for my son and only got it halfway woven before Christmas, but this resulted in a really fun, fast weaving session in which my son and I wove together throwing the shuttle back and forth. He treadled (really long legs) I beat . . . perfect Christmas activity for me! All very seat-of-the-pants, hope-for-the-best projects. And . . . Christmas miracle . . . my love of weaving has returned, and I am looking forward to the challenges of the new year!
To add to my aesthetic holiday feast I was the very lucky recipient of one of my Dad’s breathtaking reliefs cast in bronze. The subject matter may be a bit macabre for some, but we always joke that his subject matter was sex (female nudes) until he hit his 80s when the subject of death seemed to supplant sex as a preoccupation. The surface of the bronze is so beautiful that I am hoping for some of it to rub off (metaphorically) as textile inspiration.
Another weird and wonderful part of the sensory feast was contributed by the absurdly warm weather we had before the holiday which made me (and Fiona) adventure more often and more widely through the woods, picking up beautiful winterberry, bittersweet and various evergreens for decoration.