Most days I stay home and work on WeaveZine, or the house, or my weaving. The only people I see day-to-day tend to be men: my husband and son. This past Friday, however, was filled with the company of wonderful and creative women.
First up was lunch and a weaving lesson with Bonnie Tarses. In a complete reversal of the natural order, I was the teacher and Bonnie the student. She had never woven on a rigid-heddle loom and wanted to give it a go, so I brought over one of mine, gave her a mini-lesson and then left it with her to play on. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with! Bonnie’s work has been so much about doing amazing things in plain weave that she and a rigid-heddle loom seem destined to be together.
In the picture below, Bonnie and Kai (my teaching assistant.)
At first I was a bit nervous at first about teaching someone who has been weaving longer than I’ve been alive. But it was a lot of fun. Most of the time I teach folks who’ve never woven before, so I have to explain everything from first principles, explaining what a heddle is, what a shed in, where the shuttle goes. Not the case this time! I think the whole “lesson” took three minutes, then we went out for Indian food.
Later that evening, I was honored to attend a “coming of age” ceremony for the daughter of a friend of mine. It was a women-only gathering of like-minded individuals, and we all helped this bright and wonderful new woman celebrate her status. There were presents, and words of wisdom shared. We talked about our own transitions and whether they were marked with a ceremony, went unmentioned, or were scary and unknown. There was laughter, tears, and chocolate.
No pictures of this event, of course, as it was private and personal. But I did get permission to take a picture of the first stages of decorating her feet with henna.
It was a fun and moving evening. I wish our culture had more of these rites of passage rituals. It’s a moment to reflect on the life that was and look forward to the life to come. A time to get advice and support from people who’ve been down the path ahead of you.
The default ritual in this country—going down to the DMV and getting a driver’s licence—is somehow not the same…