The weaving above, Chaos and Order - #2, came to my mind after reading Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. The description of collecting and stacking used tin cans and old newspapers till they filled the parlor spoke to me of a ready-made art installation. Such a heart-rendering book; pages of poetic sentences where I just floated through the imagery not even trying to grasp their meaning, just their flavor, smell, sensations. Whereas this book made me lonely, reminding me of corners of my life that I don't usually peek into, I think my series of weavings, Chaos and Order, are happier interpretations of ways we sort and gather and collect the elements of our lives. I don't usually frame my work, but these small weavings were sewn onto foam board and mounted, then framed without glass. You can see more of them on the website of Hibberd-McGrath Gallery, located in Breckenridge, Colorado.
Yesterday we went to the Town Meeting. Every town in Vermont holds a local meeting on the first Tuesday of March. In some towns everything is done by verbal tallies, but Randolph uses paper voting ("Australian Ballot"). This year they made it possible for people to discuss the items on the ballot, so the meeting went longer than we had anticipated. Being new to town, we didn't know most of the people or issues, and just sat observing how lines were drawn as the meeting progressed. One young woman courageously spoke up, several times, voicing her concerns about the environment, recycling, our future. I was struck by her willingness to be polite, thinking how at her age, had I dared to talk up in such a forum, I would have probably said something like, "F.... you, you are destroying my future!" Then I thought how my generation is now in control, and making a mess of it just like all the generations before us.
This is actually the first time I have ever attended a local government meeting. I think it is one of the aspects of life in Vermont that drew me here. Even if I still have a sense of alienation about me, that will probably always be there, still I know that I am a part of this town now, and being informed about the budget, which is paid for by our taxes, is a responsibility I need to take on. I won't be running for select board (I just wanted to run home and jump into bed and pull the covers over my head by the end of the meeting), but I do want to be a conscious member of this community.
Well, I didn't go upstairs and jump into bed, but went to the loom instead. Yesterday I wove with rayon yarn that has been on my shelves since the late 1970s. One of the parameters I have given myself for my current work is that I must use the yarn I have. I liked it so much, plain weave and basket weave, that I even read the manual for my digital camera to find out how to take a close-up picture that is in focus. The difference in light reflection and scale between the cotton warp and the rayon weft is beautiful to my eyes. It made me think, "Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free."