I'm waiting for an important delivery today, so instead of being at the loom where I might not hear the doorbell, I've been sitting plying the next yarn. And thinking. Lots of time to think when plying.
I started thinking about how we 'invest' in our lives. So many ways to invest our time, our energy, our talents.
For me the investment for the past 40+ years has been primarily in weaving. To that end I have invested some time in learning more about spinning. But I'm not 'invested' in spinning the way I am in weaving.
Learning more about spinning, how yarns are created, is more about learning how to become a better weaver, understanding my materials at a deeper level. I'm not invested in actually becoming an expert spinner, all I'm doing is playing, really. My understanding of spinning is much more on an intellectual level, not a practical or skilled level. And my play time feeds into my hobby of knitting. Creating unique blends/yarns is a colour study in and of itself, watching how those blends spin up and then knitting with them is all grist for the creative mill.
Yesterday I was talking to a (much) younger friend and I commented that I had no clue when I chose weaving the experiences I would have, the people I would meet. With all the challenges of being a self-employed artisan, trying to design, make and sell my textiles, this career has brought enrichment I never dreamed of. Or only dreamed of.
In my secret thoughts I wanted to write. Weaving has allowed me to do that. In my secret thoughts I wanted respect. I think I have earned that. I certainly have an amazing circle of friends who support and encourage me when I falter, paralyzed by...fear.
As a teacher I am not so much interested in making mini-me's who will do exactly as I do but urge students to think for themselves. "Become your own expert" I tell them. And I mean it.
So when I mark the Olds homework, I am not looking for people to do the exercises by rote. I am looking to see what lessons they have learned, what challenges they may have overcome. I am looking to see if they are exhibiting critical thinking skills, increasing their physical skills (as shown in their samples), understand for themselves where they are weakest and need to invest their time.
The past while has been challenging for me on a personal level. Trying to also write a book is proving to be one challenge too many right at the minute. And so I am going to take a little more time before diving back into it, explore some options (I hear you when you say you want a 'real' - as in paper - book), think about the content I have generated so far and what I need to add. I have not given up on it entirely. I just want to stop and check I am on the right path before I invest more of my (and my friends) time in it.