Disorder of Business

January 6, 2010

So far I have spent the year two thousand ten tugged hither and thither by the spectral hands of Ought and Should, and even teeny-tiny Want.  Want is like the ghost of a dimly remembered childhood pet.  A guinea pig, say.  Weaving makes Want unruly.  Which may not be a bad thing.  But right now I need a linear plan.  An order for my disorder of business.

Usually this would be a list on a piece of paper.  Lists depress me.  I keep remaking them, and when I do they only get bigger.  I see that nothing is crossed off except the things that jump right back on it again:  Laundry.  Grocery shopping.  Phone difficult relative.  Arrange grueling visit to city where difficult relatives live. I was absolutely thrilled when I realized I didn’t need to renew my driver’s license, because I was able to cross it off my list without actually having to do it.  Such a feeling of accomplishment!  Much more than if I’d actually gone to the DMV.

Barring essential chores and a couple of obligatory trips, I have given myself permission to devote the next month-and-half to frivolous things like weaving.

I don’t have a paying job.  My non-paying job went on hiatus.  (We’re talking about four years ago, here.)  I took up weaving.  My health, which has always been touch-and-go due to a chronic disorder, went to pot and stayed there.  I started a weaving blog because I concluded that if I was feeling too poorly to weave much, at least I could make the vintage-loom-specific knowledge I had gained with such difficulty available to new owners of the same sort of loom.

Meanwhile, we moved a lot (three times in four years), I sewed a lot of curtains, put a lot of effort into improving my various infirmities without much success, and finally obtained another sort of non-paying job, as renter and renovator of an old house.  This was unwise.  There was no way of knowing it at the time, but the memory of possible clues still torments me.  If there is one thing I’d be happy to accomplish, it’s forgiving my year-ago self for the ongoing f***-up resulting from her decision to enter into the house agreement.  The f***-up itself is bad enough.  The regret is claustrophobic.

Okay then, good place to start!

First order of business:  Pardon past self for not being able to predict the future, curb the completely spontaneous habit of swearing that developed during your first month working on the house, and refuse to kill yourself working on it this spring and summer.  Stop caring whether people think you’re Holding Up Your End.

I’ve made an effort at this one over the winter.  It’s slow going.  I’m a lot like Frederick in The Pirates of Penzance.  Duty is my blind spot.  I know it makes me really, really dumb about certain things, especially when it concerns my Difficult Relatives, yet I am completely lost as to the extent or the manner, and how to mend it. The moral of The Pirates of Penzance is clear: dutiful people end up spending their lives stuck on pirate ships married to old women named Ruth.

Second Order of Business:  Look online for the seeds on your list so far.  Starts are time sensitive.  You hate it, but do it.  Don’t worry making the list exhaustive, or worry over which starts it would would be better to buy from the nursery.  Thinking is the tiring part.  Don’t.  Just buy some seeds.

Third Order of Business:  Put away your rigid heddle loom and clear off the junk table.  Fabricate the final wooden repair-doohickeys for your hundred pound mistake of a table loom and install them.  Put on the heddles.  Restring the rods.  Draft your pattern.  Wind the warp.  Warp the loom.  Weave.  Assess.

Fourth Order of Business:  Buy good presents for your preschooler nieces, in preparation for your visit.  Aunties MUST arrive bearing gifts.  This isn’t a duty, but a natural law.

Fourth Order of Business: When they come in the mail, try out your cardweaving loom and a hat-knitting loom.  Enjoy them.  Don’t work too hard at it.

Fifth Order of Business: Get a coat.  You were wrong when you thought you could get one more winter out of your 6-year-old coat.  You look like a WWII refugee!  And don’t quibble about the price.  You made the last one work for six years, didn’t you?  Chances are if a miracle happens and you find another that fits, you will make it last six years, too.

Sixth Order of Business:  Dust off the Bergman, devise leveling shims to compensate for wavy floors, and beam that big year-old pre-sleyed warp onto the loom.  You’ve been tempted to do this before you finish fixing the table loom, because it has been niggling at you from the bottom of the weaving cupboard, but don’t.  If the treadling cripples you up and your backup loom isn’t working, you’ll be overwhelmed.  It’s not necessary to reconstruct your plans for the warp from your cryptic notes before you beam it.  Don’t even count the threads until you’ve got it on the loom.

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14 Responses to “Disorder of Business”


  1. Lovely! Go for it, Trapunto! Use mundane housework as your break!

    Much happiness and bright cloth in your 2010!!

  2. fibresofbeing Says:

    Hang on and use that permission you’ve given yourself! Ought and should may fight back, but they will swallow you whole if they can. I hope you really enjoy your frivolous “holiday”.

  3. Cally Says:

    I do like item #1. You may wish to employ my most over-used phrase, “well, it seemed like a good idea at the time”.

    A thing I’ve noticed about my mother-in-law is that she is unable ever to admit that she has changed her mind about something; she re-writes the whole story, going back years if necessary, so that she has always had this opinion but acted for some unspecified reason against her better judgment. I am sure we all do this to some extent but in her case it is pathological.

    Don’t be like that: your forgiveness approach is SO much healthier.

    • trapunto Says:

      Very good phrase. I also like, “looks like clear sailing from here!”

      Rewrites are tiring. I hope I don’t do those. I’m more the kind who goes back looking for clues that things could have gone otherwise, you know, cosmically–not so much in order to claim that I did my best under the circumstances and stuck to my guns. Predestination makes me uncomfortable, so I keep looking for ways to disprove it to myself. Alas, it is not the kind of thing you can disprove or prove.


  4. I was reading your comments over at Weave4Fun and wanted to revisit your post. And rereading this, I am mindful of two things:

    1) I sense you are kinder to others than to yourself. But aren’t you just as deserving?

    2) You can never control how others see you – even if you gave it you 200%. At least it’s been like that in my immediate and extended families. In my case, nothing I ever do, in certain contexts, that are good is noticed, but bad things are exaggerated and multiplied in their minds. So I know what I can do and what I will do, but I TRY to remember that no amount of whatever I do can change their perception.

    End of rant.

    I think your comments on W4F are utterly wonderful.

    • trapunto Says:

      Your rant is not ranty at all, and much appreciated. A good point about not being able to control how others see you. Or *know* sometimes. Families are great ones for not changing perceptions. It comes from having known each other so long.

  5. Dot Says:

    I like your order of business.

    I agree about no regrets, it’s a waste of time and effort – regretting requires that you look backwards, but life keeps going forwards and you need to look at where you are at and where you go next.

    Now I must get the seed catalogue out, and plan a warp … I’m with you, it’s time to move on.

    • trapunto Says:

      Thanks for your encouraging comment. “Where you are” is maybe even harder than “where you go next.” It’s the one I usually need to be reminded of, anyway.


  6. What an excellent start to the new year! Good for you, knowing it’s time to let go of any perceived guilt or burden you think you should have over what is just the way life is; messy at times.

    Let go of the bad stuff; you’ll need the room for the good.

  7. damselfly Says:

    Sometimes duty should take a backseat to self-preservation. And the Difficult Relatives should count themselves lucky you don’t cut them out entirely. You could try my new mantra “It is what it is” and my “as-iffing” technique: carrying on as if everything is just peachy. Helps anyhow.

    All the best for 2010, hon’! If you aren’t looking forward you might trip over something.

    • trapunto Says:

      Wow! You read my blog? You’re my hero, Damselfly. I gather you have experience with difficult relatives. You said just the thing I wish my mom would tell me–if she weren’t one of the difficult relatives in question.

  8. deborahbee Says:

    My laptop is failing to update me on new posts, but only just realised. Wondered why the whole weaving world had gone silent. I have read and absorbed your current situation. In my mind you are my inspiration and purveyor of much wry humour. I feel a little egotistical not to have realised that you are actually coming from a place fraught with obstacles. As a fellow Bergmanner I would love you to get warped up and weaving , but now I appreciate that sometimes this is physically difficult.Keep posting I love reading your posts . Look after yourself.

  9. trapunto Says:

    Never egotistical! Your comment is very kind. I love hearing from you. And you may yet see me weaving on the Bergman again.


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