June 20, 2010:
The following quote, printed on the back cover of The Handspun Project Book, is attributed to one Joan Z. Rough:
“ ‘Where do you ever get the patience to raise the sheep, to spin the wool into yarn, to transform the spun fibres into a sweater or a pillow?’ I hear the question often, and it always surprises me: because I am not particularly patient with most of the everyday duties of an ordinary late twentieth century person. But patience doesn’t enter into my work with fibres. The time I can spend weaving, or spinning, or simply watching the sheep grazing in the field is relaxing time. It is time to be refilled with some of the wonder for life’s simplicity that we have lost with our childhood. It is time to recover from an hour’s bill paying, in which I have been warned in no uncertain terms about folding, spindling and mutilating. It is time to enjoy the beauty around me, when I am not asked to tamper with the natural rhythms of life. The birth of a lamb, the small of a sack of newly shorn wool, the sound of the spinning wheel and the pull of the fibers between my fingers, the color that develops from the weeds in the dyepot: these are what permit me to deal with a computerized society that too often challenges what little patience I have. My work is not a question of patience; it is a question of making the time to enjoy and appreciate what is left of the real world. And whatever I can turn out with that time, be it a sweater, or a wall-hanging, or a pillow, it is a product of myself, the proof of who I am and what I believe.”
Although the book was written and published by Deborah Kahn in 1978, I believe the above quote has just as much meaning today as it then. Perhaps more. It’s an interesting book; I’ll bring it to the meeting this week.