“You can’t hear knitting when the T.V. is screaming”
Prim that passion, define the dynamics of dreaming, instruct your inspiration and try a hand at your application.
I fled into the salty maw of the Pacific Northwest over the tail end of the Hunters moon, spinning free from the strangle-hold of articul/configur/ation for November UC applications. Over the year, over the months, I have been wed to the language of academia, befriending her hefty delights. My mind starves, and my heart is ablaze with the clarity of my dedication toward the unheard languages of making. I decided somewhere that school was the next acquisition in my bag of tricks for my mission to value the world of makers, but through the months the words have become tinny –just as the witching hour begins to drop her veil over admissions time. I have battled the clear-cut pathway toward this form of education, railing my rhizome-like wilderness against its academic topiaries. But in the wake of sating some mystery through my months of searching, it seemed as if I had resolved some of these odds and were prepared to play nice.I chose to sublimate my passion to a bobbing leg in class, channel my thought into doodled-borders, and save my explosive rants about the dying wisdom of our elders and the preoccupation with media for my mirror at home. However, deeper nudgings and symbols have begun shifting restlessly around my heart, casting shadows that illuminate the embers IN my heart. I wonder if academics can serve this purpose, can assist this mother language. Is this me trading a coppery fawn with her dappled hide for a painting of a deer? It seems to me that life is enough. And in my deep, I know this to be true.
Through the months, I have caught a hook in anothers eye when they really hear what I’m doing.
“You seem to already have what you need.” “I wonder if you’ll be wasting your time there.” “I don’t usually talk about this kind of thing, because most people don’t understand”. “I miss you, I hope you come back to weaving when your homework is done”. I’m watching the weavers age, I’m hearing the strangers befriend me, I’m seeing my own hands. Am I going to look up and have lost the road I was writing about?
I folded these rebellions into my bosom and boarded the plane to my ancestor place. I left my room a mess, I left homework undone, I left without toothpaste, and came to the black-edged body of Washington. No clouds shrouded her, no bitterness—only a chill that helped me find my borders. I had set my worries under my pillow when I left, and fed my ravenous shadows of heart with leaving my responsibilities behind. I felt shorn and light, ready for the weight of Halloween and the thin time of year. We were driving to Port Townsend for the weekend, and as we slipped from the car to meet the moon on the deck of our ferry, the shadows roused. The night was black cat dark, almost a glossy nut cascade around the startling moon. Enormous chunk of light, bleeding her dusty gold into the water caused the heart to bump and shiver, the pathway of her reflection leading straight to my womb on board. I couldn’t help feeling that we were trespassing into a truer place, a place of actual living and not conceptual thinking, and I could feel my palms heat up in their leather skins as we contacted the new world.
In the hush of the nubile night we drove to our castle, dressed as the dead, and slept in a haunted room.
When the sun had crested to maturity in the sky, we came outside to the silver light and started to Seattle. Birches shuddered their bronze coins to the wind, lichen adorned stone, and fields of leaf turned their blush like lusty cheeks to the coming of fall. We decided to stop in Port Gamble and see what we had never seen. We peeled off the main road which fed us directly to town.
The main street was paved with fat leaves sticky with yesterdays rain, clumping together into slick puddles of yellow in the gutter. Tasteful Victorians and open-beamed wonders flanked the street, the buildings of necessity converted to those of luxury in this new era. Buildings that used to house village doctors now held boutiques, manufacturing lodges became restaurants. The invention of nearby Kingston as a chain-savvy town had sucked the need for sustainability from Port Gamble, and left the town a bedroom community rich with nostalgia and art. The mid afternoon light meekly poured through the arbored street, glistening a dull pewter off of the immediate bay. The majority of the historic town consisted of this singular street, with the exception of a quilt shop and a blustery cemetery erected on a hill nearby. Few people walked the street, although the rows of cars indicated many people has nestled within the solace of these elegant ladies, buying scented soaps and yam fries. It was October 30th, and the town was spun in the chilling spirit of the season that enlivens bulbs and burns the gut of pumpkins. The sense of the beast in the weather is nourishment for the churning frisson around my heart, and as I tasted it with all of me, I noticed a shop.
A signpost tethered a wooden sign reading ‘The Artful Ewe’, but I only noticed that once my eyes had feasted on the charms in the windows. The building was formerly a market, but now rested on its weathered haunches with eyes full of wool. Drop spindles hung like pears from the sills, heathered chains of roving festooned the jambs. I travel with an artistic and tolerant bunch, and they allowed my immediate bewitchment as I left them to lock the car and bolted to the shop.
As I cracked the door open, breath came out.
All the raw of the outside world-the raw that burnished my nose, was immediately cooked. All the jagged edges were smoothed, and my gloves came off. A great ribcage of pale rafters sighed above, the wooden floor swathed in rugs. Tables groaned, glistening under woven reed stuffed with fleece. Walls pinned with hooks pinched miles of yarn the color of mushrooms, bloodtoned tapestries hung above the counter, wheels stood silent in a nook. Here, small dishes filled with lavender salves, there, antique sets of drawers with lolling mouths, spilling tonguefulls of fiber like an eager child. I had left my wallet in the car, since I knew nothing but moths and trouble lived in it—but I was already beginning to feel as if I were possessing wealth. Something new, something familiar, something of worth. Square balls of yarn peaked from every crease, cloudy plaits of wool slithered between baskets. All the colors spoke to the landscape I had just been engaged—Waxberry cream, gold like mold, puce the color of wet stone. The light from the windows poured in like violent mercury against the warmth of this place, the light within reminiscent of the womby-moon I had felt the night before.
What is this silence? What is this pause?
A charging knowing, a belonging. Without realizing it, the shifting wild inside had quieted. Only the delicious mystery remained, the rest sighing. Something I battle with, chair and whip—EVERYDAY– was sated. I came to a display of rugs near the counter, and began fingering their edges. Without thinking, my mind began categorizing each type of process used to weave them, my curiosity asserting possible dye plants, my heart filled with the idea of the person who crafted it, and my soul alive from the beauty and imprint of culture. I was completely engaged, completely stimulated, completely belonging, completely natural. It came as grace, a cultivated grace. In this singular moment, all of this was enough. My rampant search, my hairpins popping, my nights interrupted from the voices that don’t match my text-books. The begrudging wilderness within craving food, craving thought, craving—in this place, like so many I’ve been to and talked with—was overflowing.
And for once, I accepted it.