"Let's be cheerful"! We have no more right to steal the brightness out of the day for our own family than we have to steal the purse of a stranger. Let us be as careful that our homes are furnished with pleasant & happy thoughts as we are that the rugs are the right color and texture & the furniture comfortable and beautiful"! Laura Ingalls Wilder

Friday, August 26, 2011

soul food


Let me just describe to you what it means to be spinning at my ripe old age.  I was telling my daughters the other day about how I used to be intrigued by a pottery shop that was about a mile down the road from where I lived during my middle and high school years.  It was at the end of the main drag through town (it's still there, I'm not).  The only people who saw it (unless they were going there on purpose) were those who were leaving Bend.  The point I'm making is that it was a low profile little nothing of a building.  In my 15 year old imagination, what went on in that place was akin to magic. 




I was completely intrigued with weaving looms and spinning wheels.  I loved books about these marvelous old world skills.  Books with block printed covers, monotone block typeface that screamed late '60s, early '70s. Ridiculous for a modern girl of the '80s...

I loved to touch linen, wool, 100% cotton... in natural form, in yarn form, or made into clothing and home items.

Here is where I show myself confused.  I wanted to move back to southern California.  I wanted to be considered big city.  I desired the shopping malls and yuppy districts.  These are the things I strove for the whole while my soul was fed by the alien world of natural fibers and pottery.  I didn't understand about knowing yourself.  I didn't get that people were different and that that was a good thing.  




I never learned to knit, weave, spin, never touched a pottery wheel... I didn't even purchase these beautiful products.  I just stared and stroked them when I was near them, then took off and bought the contemporary flowered acrylic blouse!  How much time I wasted...

But let's not cry over spilt milk.  The years that the locusts have eaten are being redeemed!  Next on the list.. I'm looking into pottery classes in the fall.  Both of the girls are loving the idea.  We may not be able to make them until spring if we have to go out of town, but go we shall.  So, I'll just learn alongside my next generation.  Or should I say, they'll learn alongside me.    










I feel like my 'self' has found home.  It fits.  It's right.  The one thing I did do when I was younger, the reading about these arts, has been a tremendous help.  It's like I did all of the studying and now it's just time for the labs.  When I learned to knit, my hands may have fumbled but I had an understanding of the fiber and the cloth.  I have enough background information and images, complete with sensory stimulation stored in this data bank of mine to write my own book.  Even if my fumbly fingers have never actually thrown pottery or...

So, just stand back and watch me soar!  Charlotte Mason Karen Andreola calls mom's pursuing of interests ~ Mother Culture. I call it... soul food.  And I am eating like there is no tomorrow!

Blessings, Debbie

38 comments:

  1. Love the photos of your daughter spinning. That's one thing I have always wanted to learn. I don't think we are ever too old to learn something new in fact it is really important that we do. (helps keep the dementia away!)

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  2. Debbie, how exciting for you and the girls! Owning my own wheel and throwing clay has been a life long dream of mine too so I can't wait to see what ya'll come up with.
    I think continuing to learn new things is what keeps us young!
    Looks like Audrey knows exactly what she's doing at the wheel.
    Have a great weekend.xx
    PS- Love the polish pottery in the picuture.

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  3. Wonderful post. I love the photos of your daughter concentrating so intently on the wool. I've always wanted to take a pottery class but there are none in this area.

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  4. Good for you! The speckled (for lack of knowing the correct word:@) yarn you show is just beautiful! Have fun!

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  5. This hit the spot.
    I like the term "Mother Culture", and I do know of what you speak when you talk of putting something that is planted deep inside of you on a back burner. I also love the scripture reference to the years the locusts have eaten. That's an oft quoted passage around here lately.

    And btw, the Annie hair cut post is cute!

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  6. How exciting! Part of my five year plan for our house is to convert part of our garage into a studio. I've been a member of a local guild for the past 2 1/2 years (but am taking a year off right now due to cost) and I've loved it. I'm going to try and take a class with Chase this fall because he is dying to learn how to throw on a wheel.

    I wish I could spin. I can imagine being focused while doing it, but also becoming one with the fiber. Finding that zen spot (I do it a lot when throwing).

    Good luck! You and your girls are going to love it!

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  7. Oh you are going to enjoy pottery. M does it and loves it. I have found my passion in writing and photography but I love to try new challenges. I think you are a very smart woman. B

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  8. You are my hero, Debbie! Good for you...going after new learning, new skills...and along with your girlies too. What a good example you are to them (and me)!
    I am planning to learn some sketching during this coming year. It's something I've only dabbled in before, but my Bekah is interested too, and someone gave us a book of nature sketching how to's...so here we go!

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  9. I understand so Debbie! Basically went through the same stage myself. Probably because the culture of the time was telling us that it was "cool" to be urban career gals. Hope you get much enjoyment from your pottery classes!

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  10. Pottery throwing is one of my favorite things. I have my own wheel, but it is on loan to a real potter for now as I have no place for it. If you were closer, I would lend it to you and the girls, for sure. I was never very good, and always very messy, but the magic of taking that lump of clay and forming anything ... ahhh.

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  11. Hi Debbie, you did not waste valuable time....you were learning valuable life lessons and maturing and soul searching....all leading up to today! Have a great weekend. xo

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  12. How wonderful to be learning a new skill alongside your daughters........love your daughters thoughtful expression as she spins.

    lily

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  13. I love that your daughters are sharing this with you. It's important that these "arts" are pasted on to the next generation

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  14. What a very special time ahead for you and your girls...a time, I'm sure, you will never forget.

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  15. I SO HEAR YOU, DEBBIE!! This brings tears of joy for me. I know exactly what you are saying and you said it so very, very well. I never saw these fibres until a couple of years ago... and the tug. It is primal. It is feminine. It goes to the soul. My friends have tried to interest me in spinning... they have not been successful. But, you may have just opened the door to desire. I've told them I have so many beautiful yarns at my disposal I haven't had time for another addiction and I like making things... but, you've got me wondering what I'm missing out on... just sayin'. And, most of all... I love that your daughters are right beside you. LOVE that! THANK YOU for this beautiful post... it touched that same part of my soul. {hugs} and blessings ~ tanna

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  16. Beautiful!

    My Mom knew how to do so many things that she never taught me. How I wish we both had the wisdom at the time to understand the priceless value of her skills and that time we would have spent together learning.

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  17. I love this. You're RIGHT(where you need to be).
    :)
    Here's to Mother Culture. . .when we can feed our own souls AND the souls of our children as well, there are blessings beyond number.

    I don't want to be the generation that (a.)didn't know HOW to DO anything, and (b.)failed to pass down that valuable knowledge to my children.
    ~april

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  18. I am so glad that God gave to me the desires of my heart. I was just like you, in those growing up years. All around us was the call to feminism.
    But in our hearts, God knew who we were. That we could raise daughters for Him. I love the picture of your daughter spinning. When Meg spins I just sit and watch her and feel that all is right with the world.
    We have been given such a wonderful gift. I have a pottery kick wheel outside my bedroom, if I could figure a way to get it to you, you could just have it.
    My daughter took pottery and my son has done pottery. Both have decided it isn't for them.
    Now the grand kids sit on it and give themselves rides. :)
    I do love Mother Culture too. I read everything by Karen Andreola. I still have all of her lovely newsletters. Which she used to write A Charlotte Mason Companion which I read over and over.

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  19. I find these "home crafts", mother cultures keep me grounded and sane. They didn’t so much when I was young but the older I get, the more they do!!! Clarice

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  20. Your ripe old age? You actually mean your ripe young and wise age,don't you? I understand your sentiments - I too was drawn to all the fibers and colors (just made me good inside - sorry if that sounds silly) and yet...was lured away by the new and improved and all the 'stuff'. Now, I'm trying to teach our kids how unfulfilling 'stuff' is and how much more satisfaction you get with making something from your own hands. Love the spinning wheel and seeing your daughter at work. The pottery class sounds great too. We've (my daughter & I) have been hoping to someday take a class...

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  21. Ohhh how fun! I can't wait to hear about your grand adventures in your mother culture with your dd's. I have tried pottery when I was in jr. high. I wished I tried my hand at more of it. Ohhh I wanted to ask if that spinning wheel you have the Ashford Joy spinning wheel? That is the one I have my eye on. [o=

    Blessings and ((HUGS))
    -Mary

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  22. So glad you are being restored to this special love in your life, Debbie. Should be fun to do this with your girls!

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  23. Love the photos of your daughter spinning. The old ways of doing things just feels nice.

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  24. I think Mother Culture might be Karen's phrase, but I love it!

    I have learned so many of these arts since I have been an adult and it makes me so happy....I love to see your daughter spinning! So cool!

    Deanna

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  25. I've never spun wool but both my daughter and granddaughter do and they also took pottery classes.

    I love the pictures of your beautiful daughter spinning. Have a safe weekend. JB

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  26. Good for you! This is exactly what Charlotte Mason espouses when she talks about teaching your children to love learning, and to be life long learners. You are a great example to your children! I am looking forward to sharing your adventure vicariously via your blog!

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  27. So true. As the years roll on, the anxiety we have as self-makers turns to a sweet acknowledgement of mysterious grace. Peaceful.

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  28. Debbie,

    Do you mind sending me your email address?

    Deanna

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  29. Debbie
    I look forward to seeing what you and your girls create. You are already multi-talented,
    This will be another outlet for your creativity!

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  30. After reading this post,I now realize there is hope for me, what a joy to see you and your daughters learning together, You inspire all of us.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Enjoy your weekend,
    Sue

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  31. Soul food it is! I'm glad to hear you are delving in with a big spoon! Can't wait to see you "gaining weight!"

    Jody

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  32. Oh I love the term "soul food". That's exactly how I feel! I'm so glad your girls are learning these things with you. It just feels right in your heart, doesn't it? Your yarn is beautiful. Something about hand/homespun yarn is just lovely. And as different as every person who makes it! :)

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  33. Such a lovely post! Isn't life an amazing journey, enjoy yours.
    Take care
    Linda

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  34. Thank you for this. As I prepare to face another up and down week with a wee one and a teenager in the house (polar opposites of one another so much of the time) I find myself wishing there were more "me" time. But... this is the time for me to "study" and there will be time for the "labs" later. I definitely needed the reminder this week!

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  35. What a beautiful post! I completely understand it. To work with beautiful materials, to make beautiful things, it gives more than the finished product. I have so much to learn still. The day I stop learning is the day they'll have to check my pulse!

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  36. This looks like so much fun! Nothing compares to the wisdom only passing years can bring. Weave on!

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  37. Debbie, I just popped over from Tanna's blog. I really enjoyed this post. The locusts have eaten quite a few of my years, too. I learned my muse early on in life - art & painting - my wise mom and dad knew it, too, and encouraged me and provided ways for me to nurture that muse. I am grateful for their support. It's had to take a back seat at different times in my life for kids, working to help them in college, etc., but it calls me every single day. Glad you found what feeds you!
    PS - you have a lovely family, and I'm looking forward to reading more!

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