Monthly Archives: November 2016

Life And The Loom

p1130348Here it is: my first handwoven creation!

At the end of October I had the fortune to buy a beautiful small loom from a friend. Weaving is something that I had been curious about for many years, ever since I saw and fell in love with a gorgeous Saori loom on Saltspring Island. I had never tried weaving before, but just sitting at the bench touching the wood left a deep impression. The ideas of weaving were put away till someday when perhaps I could afford a loom like that. This summer the longing to try weaving returned. So I considered buying a more affordable loom, but got lost in deciding how and with what to start. So I let it go once again…

Then out of the blue a friend announced that she was offering her beautiful Kromski Harp rigid heddle loom for sale and I knew I had to see it. Within a few weeks we met up and I saw the small loom for the first time, I knew right away that this was my starting point. My friend showed me the basics and since then I’ve been learning a lot from this little Harp loom about weaving and life.

The greatest joy for me was playing with different colours and textures, immersing myself in the creativity like I never have before. There were also some challenges that I needed to learn from. It showed me clearly my deep attachment to the outcome and how much it effected me when it was or was not going well. The biggest challenge showed up when I was getting closer to the end: one of my warp threads broke and I was devastated thinking the worst had just happened. p1130072My mind was telling me: All this work for nothing! I contacted my friend with no luck, researched like crazy on the internet, tried a few things and in the end had to give up and let it go. After a few days I took the unfinished scarf off the loom and for the first time got to see what I had woven. I had not followed any pattern, just let the loom, wool and colours guide me. I was astounded at what I had created and to my great amazement and joy the scarf turned out to be the perfect length. I guess the loom knew when it was done. A big lesson learned! And deep gratitude for the outcome!

I had just picked up a book from the library, that I had ordered in, called “Dying To Be Me” around the same time I got my loom. The author Anita Moorjani writes about her near death experience and healing from cancer afterwards. I was touched by what she wrote and what she had learned from her experience and want to share a little excerpt as it directly effected my weaving:

“I saw my life intricately woven into everything I’d known so far. My experience was like a single thread woven through the huge and complexly colourful images of an infinite tapestry. All the other threads and colours represented my relationships, including every life I’d touched. There were threads representing my mother, my father, my brother, my husband, and every other person who’d ever come into my life whether they related to me in a positive or negative way.

….In the tapestry of life, we’re all connected. Each one of us is a gift to those around us, helping each other be who we are, weaving a perfect picture together. When I was in the NDE state, it all became so clear to me because I understood that to be me is to be love. This is the lesson that saved my life.”

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Reading this book made weaving for me a very deep experience. As I wove I got a sense that I was weaving something much bigger than a scarf. Each thread seemed important. As I wove, I reflected on my life and myself. I wondered if perhaps at the end of our lives we take the tapestry we have woven through our interactions and relating from the loom of life and we get to see what we have created and how it all fits into the tapestry of all life. Weaving for me has become another form of meditation and also a beautiful way to express my creativity.

Before I read the book I heard Anita give a Ted talk. I loved the simple yet powerful message she has brought back from beyond. Here is the link, if you feel curious:

http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Dying-to-be-me-Anita-Moorjani-a

 

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Take A Closer Look

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A few of our Hollyhocks are still blooming in November. Their beauty on these often grey and rainy days is a sight to behold. As I start out on my walk with my old companion Frodo, I see the soft pink greeting me from a distance.

Making my way through the meadow I can’t help but notice many different tribes of mushrooms dotted throughout the landscape. I feel their invitationp1130315 to stop for a moment.  I take a closer look and feel touched by their mystery and beauty. Most of them I do not recognize. Life seems ever changing as I take in the many different shapes and sizes that are here today and may be gone tomorrow.

Frodo and I continue our morning walk and soon we are stepping over all the little creeks in the meadow that are making their way to the ocean. I watch Frodo stop and sniff a cedar branch for a very long time. This brings tears to my eyes. His eyesight is slowly leaving, his hearing all but gone. Each moment is becoming more precious and these walks with him are not taken for granted anymore. Quietly I watch him take in the sweet smell of cedar and who knows what else…

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A couple of weeks ago I had an experience that is still with me today. I was looking at posts on Facebook when I came across one that stopped me in my tracks. I had seen it before. Last time I quickly clicked onto something else. The image was breaking my heart. When I saw it again this time however I knew I couldn’t just pass over it. I looked at the picture of a starving polar bear floating on a piece of ice and I became very still. Perhaps you know which one I am talking about. I didn’t read any words, the picture spoke volumes. The usual feeling of deep pain, helplessness and hopelessness arose and I sat with it as I would with a friend who is sharing with me a painful experience. Then I did something else that surprised me. I asked myself not from a place of defeat, but from a place of earnest inquiry: What can I do to make a difference? I don’t usually ask myself this question, because I think I already know the answer: There is nothing I can do! Or perhaps I am afraid of the answer.

I did not address the question to that little me who feels powerless and inadequate, I asked my very core, my centre of being and the answer was matter of fact, immediate, very short and very clear: Write!

As soon as I heard it, I felt an immense amount of joy followed immediately by fear. I remember my Shamanic teacher Sandra Ingerman telling a group of us once, to only ask a question if we are really ready to hear the answer and accept it. Sometimes we don’t actually want to hear the answer and do what is asked of us. I have never forgotten her teaching and now only ask when I feel ready to honour the response.

I let the answer wash over and through me. As I watch the raindrops gather together becoming little creeks, gaining momentum and power p1130329as many become one, I wonder if that is what is needed to shift what is happening in our world today. Is this what is taking place at Standing Rock in North Dakota where tribes, nations and many people are coming together from all directions to stand up for what is sacred: our water, life, Mother Earth, our burial grounds…?

On my walks recently I have been looking for a stone that resembles Standing Rock for me and then I suddenly realized that what I was looking for was not to be found on the outside. I had to look for it on the inside. As soon as I turned my gaze inward I could see that Standing Rock is that centre of my being that stands solid and strong regardless of what is happening on the outside.

As Frodo is taking a sip from the little creek under the big old cedar tree, I am really glad I asked myself that question and for a moment I imagine a world where people come together and stand for the sacredness of life and create a new world together based on love and oneness not fear. I look out onto the garden where the soft pink Hollyhocks are beckoning: Come! Take a closer look! And I do…what I see fills my heart with joy: the seeds are sown, it is already in the making.

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Photos by Elke

Don’t Go Back To Sleep

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For a whole year while living on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia I used to wake up right before sunrise. It felt like an inner signal went off every morning with just enough time to get to our East facing deck and watch this incredible poignant moment when the sun rose over the Coastal Mountains.

Now I wake up just before dawn and I cannot put into words the felt sense of something is waiting for me there and Rumi’s passionate words ring in my ears like an alarm clock: “Don’t go back to sleep!”

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill 
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

~Rumi