April 26, 2013

The Naked Weaver

At last weekend’s gathering in the mountains, LovesAnimals set her loom up near the big window and announced her intention to teach us how to weave. Her goal, she said, was to create something that we'd all worked on. I never did figure out what exactly what we were making, but it looked to me like a thneed. Perhaps I’ve watched the Lorax too many times.

I'm not usually one for crafty projects, unless you count those potholders I made in fourth grade. I still remember how proud I was of the one I made for Aunt Seashell. Her favourite colours were green and blue, and I wove them together. Clever, huh? My other brilliant move was to mix pastel blue loops with pink in potholder for my grandmother, who always said that her favourite colour was sky-blue-pink. Other fourth graders just grabbed whatever fabric loop was near the top of the bag, but not me. I was an artist. I chose my loops carefully. The potholders were such a success that I figured I could rest on my laurels for half a century.

I found it relaxing to listen to the gentle thump of the loom while MakesBread worked on the thneed. I wrote in my journal, Signing Woman read a book, and Caregiver chopped vegetables for our next meal.

Weaving is a metaphor used often in ecofeminism literature. I kept telling this to my friends. “How cool that we are ACTUALLY weaving,” I said. “I mean it’s the perfect symbol for the way we make connections with each other. We tell our stories, our yarns.” About every two minutes, I’d look up from my journal and make another comment about the loom. I couldn’t resist. I mean, you have to admit, it was pretty cool.

My friends were too polite to roll their eyes or tell me to shut up. Instead MakesBread jumped up, and offered me the chair. “I think it’s your turn,” she said.

“You can pick which yarn to use,” LovesAnimals said in the voice you’d use when offering a bribe to a small child.

“The sparkly purple!” I said right away. I’d had my eye on the sparkly skein all along. I abandoned my musing about the metaphor and sat down to do the real thing.

My mad potholder skills came in handy, it turned out. The loom worked under the same principles, except that I had a cool wooden shuttle instead of that awkward metal stick. Weaving is faster than knitting, and it was satisfying to watch inches of material form. I felt like Ma Ingalls. If Caregiver had announced we were churning butter next, I would have tossed my vegan tendencies to the wind and joined right in.

“Who’s going to pose naked at the loom?” I asked as I worked. “A naked weaving picture would be great.” I hadn’t totally abandoned my obsession with the metaphor.

“The Naked Weavers,” said Denim Woman. “That could be our band name.”

Of course, the only real weaver amongst us was LovesAnimals. “You should have the honor of posing,” I told her.

“It’s an honor now?” Denim Woman asked. I looked over at her, and she added, hastily, “Good strategy.”

 LovesAnimals took off her clothes, sat down at the loom, and began weaving. I love how cooperative my friends are. I climbed up onto the coffee table and snapped the photo.

Naked Weaver

If you don't know the history of the naked photo tradition, you can check it out here. Or go look at the gallery of photos.


Anonymous said...

An action shot! I love the light in this. And she's beautiful. One of the best pictures yet.


Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

YAY! The project grows and continues. I love the metaphor!!!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

It is a nice action shot! :-D

Ellen said...

It's the perfect metaphor! And I love the picture, with all that lovely light coming in through the window. She looks relaxed and beautiful as she works.

Anonymous said...

Long live the naked photo tradition! You got some beautiful shots this time.

Sandy said...

Your friends are so obliging! Great shot. She's beautiful and the light is just right.

robin andrea said...

The "Naked Weavers" is such a great band name. The poetics of nakedness.

Amber said...

Great picture!

And I love this sentence, "I climbed up on the coffee table..." Always finding the perfect angles!

Jeff C. said...

Great point of view. Looks totally relaxing and at ease with ones self. Beautiful.

Zhoen said...

The folk group, The Weavers, might well have posed for you. I like the Naked Weavers as a band name.

As always, nothing like being photographed by someone who cares about you.