Sunday, June 3, 2012

Endless Possibilities . . . Connecting with my weaver self

This past week I was able to spend some time in my favorite place ever . . . The Outer Banks.  (did you think I would say anywhere else???)  My husband and I were able to to spend time in Manteo at the Tranquil House Inn, a beautiful and familiar friend to me.  We have spent many nights there over the years and I find it to be a place of rest and renewal of spirit for myself.  Vacation time away is always a good thing, but somehow this trip was different to me; I re-connected with my weaver self again and what I discovered was profound to me! I decided to share it with you today.

Down the street from the Inn, quietly placed on Budleigh Street, is a wonderful store called "Endless Possibilities" I have shopped in there from time to time over the years, even woven there with a group of girlfriends over ten years ago. I decided to take a peek inside and see what was new or what had changed.  I had no idea what was in store for me, myself and I, not for one moment.  I rediscovered something about myself and I am still thinking of it.

Endless Possibilities began in June 2002 and has been thriving ever since.  "It is an innovative recycling project that utilizes castoff fabric from the Outer Banks Hotline (Crisis Intervention and Prevention Center) thrift stores to create woven fabric that is then transformed into beautiful handwoven items.  These items include unique rugs, handbags, totes, clogs and other items and are created primarily by volunteer weavers.  This creative process echoes Hotline's philosophy that everything and everyone deserves a second chance."  
                       (quote taken from their brochure given to me that day)

The Outer Banks Hotline is a nonprofit organization that provides a 24-hour crisis phone line as well as shelter, support services and advocacy to victims of domestic and sexual violence in the Outer Banks communities.  Their funding comes in a large part from the sales at their thrift stores.  How wonderful to see these two organizations at work with each other for the good of others.  My heart is so deeply touched by this, I hope that if you are ever in Manteo you will take the time to stop in their delightful store and see what is happening there.

Here is a peek inside the donation room . . . all these goodies waiting to be cut into strips to be woven into articles.  It was truly overflowing!  It did my heart good to see such goodness in all of these donations.

Here is a peek inside the loom room.  So many looms lined up waiting to be woven on by volunteers, again, even the looms have been donated by others to help this cause be a success.  I remember being here about ten years ago and it was as if nothing had changed! What fond memories I carry with me of that day in May so long ago.  When I first came into the store it was just to check it out and see if anything had changed since I had been there last.  The manager asked me twice if I would like to sit and weave for awhile, each time I said "no thank you", but then after seeing these looms threaded and ready, I wanted to sit for awhile.  The question was, which one would I choose???

I then found this loom and fell in love with the rag rug that was being woven on it, so I turned and said I would love to weave for awhile!  I stayed for a good long time, adding one fabric strip after another, the pattern I kept repeating in my head . . . one flowered, one tie dyed, one solid, repeat.  As I began weaving a sudden feeling of "this is where I belong came over me".  You see I have a loom at home and I haven't woven anything for years . . . truly years.  The loom is my studio is half threaded with beautiful fibers, but I never seem to be able to find the time.  I am sorry about that, my heart hurts when I think about it.  So sitting here, at this loom and weaving . . . those wonderful artistic feelings came rushing back to me; on that beautiful Manteo Saturday morning.

How good it felt to place my feet on foot petals once again. I had forgotten that wonderful feeling of pushing the treadles to create a woven pattern, my feet knew they had found their home again!  It all came rushing back to me, in that very instance . . . I knew I was meant to be there at that very moment.
Life has a way of opening up to you . . . if you will only pay attention to it.  You must be ready when opportunities come knocking at your heart.

This beautiful sign was hanging above the loom room; a gentle reminder for all of us! It reminded me that I truly am a weaver and I LOVE the art that it is.  That is why I originally named my business and blog Gentle Threads!  It was good to be back in the presence of fibers again. I felt like I was being called back, so I wouldn't forget.  Last month while attending the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival I was reminded of that as well, I can't ignore these moments.

Endless Possibilities . . . what an awesome name for a shop.  I began to think about that while writing this entry; there is so much I still have to do, there are so many endless possibilities in life, my life . . . how about yours? So I am grateful that I happened to pop in Endless Possibilities while on vacation.  It taught me so much, renewed my weaving spirit and helped me to remember that there is a little weaver girl inside, and a painter girl, and a poet girl, and a knitting girl, oh so much more!  Life is one beautiful adventure isn't it??

When I was taking the Poem it Out E-course with Liz Lamoreux recently, she had given us a writing prompt of "A new voice or perspective . . . let something else speak for you".  I happened to write a poem from my weaving loom's point of view (looking back on it now I get goose bumps!).  I decided to share this with you today in closing . . . it says how I feel.  Poetry is hard to share, but this time I feel the moment is just right.

Her weaving loom says . . . 

i am sitting here in the corner
waiting to be used
waiting to be loved again
i have been half threaded
for oh so very long
i look over there
in the corner of the room
and I see donna
at her art table
her paint brushes
and her art supplies
have taken her
attention and focus 
away from me
one day she will return to me
i know it, i feel it
i am still here . . . 
waiting oh so patiently
one day she will want to hear
my beautiful beater clanging
flowing in a rhythm
one day she will hold my shuttle again
passing through the over~under threads
repeating the sound over and over again
creating a piece of handwoven cloth
right before her big blue eyes
i ask myself
how is it she has forgotten?
don’t disappear from me
come back to me old friend
we’ve been together
for oh so very long
your weaving loom
your companion
your fiber friend

Think about your own endless possibilities and please remember that when life comes knocking, open the door and let it in.
Donna Lee