This has been a year hasn’t it? Fear of losing family and friends to a virus that is transmitted unwittingly by those with no symptoms. Uncertainty. Misinformation. No work, or work from home. No school, or school from home. A daily bombardment from those in leadership who behave the opposite of how we hope to raise our children to behave. Hypocrites. Children put in cages, some removed from their families forever. Exposure of racism and white supremacy in every institution of my society and government. Atrocities committed by my police, my legal system, and my school to prison pipeline. My “white privilege”.
There is a reason I’ve been quiet.
I’ve been listening.
Many of the Indigenous weavers I’ve been blessed to learn from have taught me that I should not weave something for others when sad, when mad, or when my heart or mind is confused or disturbed. Weaving for others needs to be done with a good heart and in a good state of mind. An example was given by Johnny Moses, a Tulalip cultural teacher, that in his family even some of the Old Baskets made by his ancestors needed to be protected, covered by a cloth, if something upsetting was going on in the household, so that those bad feelings, thoughts, or ideas, would not go into those baskets to harm the stories they already contained.
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are” said Theodore Roosevelt
I’ve been blessed to live in a place where I can work, and most often my work is solitary. During those times when the events of this year have slowed me down, as I was able to remove myself from the “gaslighting” of the day to immerse myself in nature, I could feel my pulse lowering, my breaths become deeper, my thoughts clearer. And when my heart was right, I’ve been able to make work for others who I am grateful have kept me steadily busy during this strange circle of seasons.
Recently, my son and grandkiddos, along with my sweet husband, constructed a nice covered work space for me off the side of my studio. I had lamented that I needed a covered outdoor area, something “temporary and simple” that would allow me to make a plan to meet with friends or clients, outside and distanced, rain or shine, a useful space for the remainder of this pandemic.
I should have known that when Spencer West heard my request, he would take that idea and design it his way, and I’d end up with a magical space, exceeding anything I could have dream of.
My two youngest grandkids worked hard removing the bark from the cedar poles.
My eldest grandson was an important part of the building crew.
For a year now I’ve rarely been able to see any of the grandkiddos without their masks, so beard growing had gone unnoticed until today!
Three generations on the West Woods Working crew.
Now it’s time to deal with my piles of branches, ornamental plum, willows, Hazelnut, and apple, but I will be sheltered from the frequent winter rains.
Thank you for reading this. Please take care of yourself. I wish you well.