After years of weaving for income, for intellectual stimulation and physical activity, weaving has now become part of my therapy.
Exercise is a very important part of my life - always has been - but now I also need to exercise in order to keep my heart as healthy as can be. All the recommendations are for a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day. I'm used to doing 3 to 4 hours of aerobic exercise daily, but the medications I'm on prevent my heart rate from increasing, so I've had to radically change the way I weave.
Instead of weaving for 45 to 60 minutes and taking a break, I now weave for 4-5 minutes, stop to rest and let my heart catch up to my need for oxygen. It is contrary to all the stories I ever told about myself, and it has been hard to accept that I can no longer weave as I used to do.
On the other hand, I can still weave! Not only can I weave, but I now must weave every day - or do some other physical activity, and weaving is sooooo much more enjoyable than spending 30 minutes on a tread mill or exercise bike!!!!
After years of concentrating on issues of efficiency, I find that during those 5 or so minute blocks of weaving, I can actually get quite a bit done. And so I have come to the point of surrendering - of accepting what is - instead of wishing for what cannot be. I still spend about 30-40 minutes at the loom, 2 to 4 times a day, although my productivity is reduced. But that's okay - it's better than not being able to weave at all.
I've also had to learn patience - not something I've ever been very good at!
From time to time I've used a heart motif for various woven textiles. This January I worked on this motif once again, never dreaming how significant the symbol would be.
Using the above draft, I wove tea towels during the days after my brother died. They were therapy of a different sort, because I didn't yet know I also was having problems with genetic Coronary Artery Disease. After the angio, I gave two of the heart towels to my internist, as thanks for believing that I had a problem, and moving swiftly to get it fixed.
The towels were woven from 2/20 mercerized cotton for warp, and a singles 16 red linen for weft, at 36 epi/ppi.