Saturday, January 24, 2004


Today I packed up my wheel and a big bag of fluff, hopped in the van of Big Sister Tuna (BSTuna) and went off for a spinning day. Five hours of forced relaxation later, I'm a happy camper. As I sat in the living room alternately plunging my arm elbow-deep into the soft brown Merino fleece and treadling my wheel round about and back again, I could feel the stress melting away like a spring thaw. As we drove home, I looked at BSTuna and said "I don't know why we don't do this more often."

It's not that I have any problem relaxing. I am a champion computer junkie and an avid couch potato. Looking at my house, it's obvious that being obsessively fastidious is not one of my shortcomings. But putting on the brakes at home is born out of exhaustion and necessity, rather than recreation. It's not an inferior form of relaxation, it's just different.

Spinning is different. It is participatory. It is artistic. It is tactile and creative. You cannot rush spinning -- it goes at its own rate. The regular rhythm of the wheel is relaxing, calm and peaceful, yet the results are exciting. Spinning is a craft of change -- it is the process of changing fiber from one form to another. And as the wool changes, I seem to change as well. The stressed out, unorganized frantic person morphs into someone more relaxed, open and focused. Out of a jumble of wool and frayed nerves comes beauty, order and function. Right brain and left brain are satisfied, as well as body, soul and spirit.

Unfortunately I'm not able to spin as much as I'd like. My version of relaxation seems to include a mandatory component of being comatose. I need recreation. I need "re-creation" of body, soul and spirit. Today I realized how important -- and absent this has been in my life.

It's time to make the time to take some time. Stop spending every waking moment as if it were a wind sprint. I'm going to make a point of joining the fiber folk a bit more often. To sit and spin and talk of lambs and sheep, crimp and lanolin, spinning dyeing and weaving. And then there are always the llamas, goats, alpacas, bunnies, yaks and camels.

Oh dear. I think I need a bigger backyard.

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