Sunday, October 21, 2012

Back to Shaft Envy

Mine is a "middle class" problem. I'm not sure if it applies to our working-poor-on-one-income middle-class-ness, but considering the equipment and stash I have and the fact I don't have to work for a living and looking at my experiences and skills, I think you'd agree with my broadly categorizing my work and me "middle class" in the weaving scheme of things.

I talked about sort of giving up getting my hands on a bigger, badder, meaner loom. I thought about my attitude towards my making, which is the same as how I spend my life. I listened to Adrianna Huffington and Nora Ephron several times when they spoke at the 42nd St Y, possibly in 2006. Best US 95cents I ever spent! They parade their very-high-up upper middle class women problems, but just because they're well-off doesn't diminish their efforts, you know. But I digress.

I have been thinking about getting older vs growing older. Life this side of 42 for me has been a process of resignation (bad!) and contentment (good); resignation from things I had always assumed I'd do some day but physically, emotionally or financially/geographically can't any more or won't so I can invest time/energy/money into something else. (And I add, I really didn't expect to live in such a small place and how this would impacts my perceptions/expectations.) I gave up serious writing, a higher degree or three, and most regrettably travel and workshop/education opportunities. Instead I looked for deeper investigation/contemplation in weaving in the first instance, and my understanding and participation in visual arts locally and on the Internet. These coincided with my efforts to turn down the noises in my head and approach something like internal peace, which made me more realistic about my abilities and thus made me more timid, too, rather than optimistic. I even started thinking my lust for equipment and experiences is a sort of materialism and immaturity, covering what's lacking within. I even looked forward to revisiting ideas and working on many iterations in my lifetime.

And observing my parents' aging process, the better I'm equipped to look inside myself for my own happiness/contentment, the happier/more content the rest of my life will be, and the earlier I get started, the better. 

But mechanism/structure of/in weaving is still what I am most interested in in the first instance. And it helps to have big, bad machines to hone in on this aspect, though by no means the only. So when Pat introduces me to works by a weaver who has 32-shafts and at least access to a jacquard, in this case one Jenny Robertson of Canberra, Australia in the context of multi-layered weave, I can't stop slipping back down the shaft-envy/materialism (as opposed to thinking-ism) slope.

Wanted: more growing up.

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