Home For a Head

December 1, 2008

I appreciate your sympathetic comments on my last post.  I’m ashamed how whiney and alarmist I sound–“Waa, I’m afraid I can’t weave!”–when so many of you are already been biting the bullet (and the anti-inflamatories) to pursue the beloved craft.  Forgive me; I ought to give you some context: as someone with a chronic illness, I’ve had a lot of experience with physical things going wrong and not getting better.  It’s turned me into a human barometer.  I’m all about reading the warning signs, catching little problems, and working to forestall them before they take permanent hold.  I have found that if I take ibuprophin and give in to my “bloody mindedness” as Deborah puts it (love that expression!), I have to be ready for it to reach round and bite me.  Sometimes it’s worth it, mostly not.  It’s more of a crap shoot when the problem is an unfamiliar one.

Last week we discovered a possible escape route from our disturbing landlord and his 5:30 AM-on-a-Sunday-morning (sledge?)hammering in the other half of the duplex.  Landlord and new girlfriend are in a frenzy of loud and smelly home improvement, which I think means they are here for the long haul.  –This, and the fact that they have hung shiny new Tibetan prayer flags across the yard at just the hight to decapitate themselves in the dark.  Der Mann says it has spoiled prayer flags for him.

It will be a couple of months before we know whether this escape route pans out, and the strange thing is I don’t really mind one way or the other.  It seems I didn’t need to know for sure we were getting away from here to feel better, I just needed the possibility that we might be living somewhere else in the foreseeable future.

I am half convinced that organizing my weaving area is what brought this possibility about.

I bought a new-to-me weaving cupboard in the spring, but couldn’t use it until I had attached the dangerously balanced hutch to the base.  Since then, “not using” the cupboard has translated into stuffing things into it just to get them out of the way.  You know, weaving things like Chinese face powder (I don’t wear make-up, but it’s a pretty box!) and my chocolate stash.

chocstash

The more I stuffed, the more I would have to remove when I finally pulled the cupboard out from the wall to attach the hutch.  I was unmotivated.  More recently I didn’t see any point in fixing up the cupboard until we decided whether we were going to try to find a new apartment.

A couple of weeks ago I gave up on finding another apartment; the prospects were too dismal.  I attached the hutch to the base cupboard with metal mending plates and organized all my weaving things inside.

before

before

after

after

There isn’t much difference between the before picture and the after picture, but it is a huge difference for me, because now I know where everything is!  I wish I could show you the annoying places around the house where reeds, beaming sticks (that’s what the wooden blinds are going to be, too) and the toe-stubbing pieces of my warping reel were crammed.

I’m inclined to see a connection between cupboard fixing and landlord escape because it is an example of something I keep noticing in life, but only ever after it happens: the power of gestures of despair.  When I give up, and take action reflecting the up-givenness, circumstances alter.  It’s not a useful philosophy because it’s not possible to give up on purpose (not the way I’m talking about), but there it is. 

The best part about my reorganized corner is that I now have space for my head, or rather, my father’s head.  One of the most frustrating things about our current cramped living situation is that it has coincided with my grandmother wanting to give me what little remains of my dead father’s stuff (he died when I was 3).  Since my grandmother is at a stage of obsessively throwing things away, when she offers, I take–pronto–or else risk never seeing the object again.

My father carved the head when he was in high school.  For years it sat in the murky top recess of the built-in shelves that held my grandmother’s stereo and TV.  I’m unaccountably fond of it.  I think he had been looking at pictures of the Easter Island heads the night he made it.  Here it is looking monolithic:

woodenhead1

And here is its sterner side:

woodenhead2

I felt uncomfortable having it sitting on the floor behind my loom.  It seemed disrespectful.  For Christmas, I’m going to dress it up as the Green Man.

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8 Responses to “Home For a Head”

  1. Taueret Says:

    organising feels good! I like the big heeed. He will make an awesome Green Man.

  2. humblebumble Says:

    i find if i put off sorting things out until i’m settled in one place in perpetuity i’d never get anything done, life being as it is

    -hb

  3. Jane Says:

    Good morning, T.

    The difference in the before and after photos really does show. Noticed the Easter Island head right off the bat — Kon Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl was one of my favorite books when I was a kid, and later grew up to date an Anthropologist who spent years doing research on Easter Island. My first thought when I saw the head on the shelves, was, “Wow. Maybe T has been to Easter Island!”

    Now, I’m wondering if your father read Kon Tiki and also took that magical, vicarious trip over the waters.

    You weren’t being whingey — managing a chronic illness or chronic pain condition is just plain tricky. It truly *is* hard to know where a new threshold lies, the crossing of which may set you back for awhile.

    As for the up-giving? Well, there is often peace in surrender, grasshopper. Pulling at the shoots does not make the grass grow faster. 🙂

    Love how your weaving space has come together. It looks so ready for you. And until you’re ready again for it. . .I’ll just meet ya in the carport.

    xoxo
    J.

  4. Barb Fessler Says:

    Your space looks great. I love the “head” too and can’t wait to see what he looks like all dressed up.

  5. deborahbee Says:

    You wern’t whinging! You really make me happy being so in love with weaving, and its lovely to see the Bergman just peaking out of the side of your pictures.Post a picture of a Yuletide Greenman he should work wonders to alleviate the noisy neighbours.

  6. Dorothy Says:

    I have been in that bad landlord situation, so send my every sympathy. I hope one day soon you wake up to one of those days where everything suddenly turns out right.

    Your Dad’s carving is superb, I think there’s no more meaningful momento than something a person made.

  7. trapunto Says:

    I haven’t been to Easter Island, but I’ve always wanted to go there.


  8. The carved head’s a treasure! I’m sorry that you lost your father at such a young age.

    Your last post wasn’t in the least whiney! Your productivity in the face of chronic pain is amazing.

    In my own life, I definitely see a direct correlation between unblocking obstacles that one has control of and creating “flow” in those that are out of one’s hand. If only I could remember that and be more proactive sooner about doing my part!


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