Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Awkward Photo

photo taken from under the loom, late at night

draft of the design

The draft is sideways - I forgot to rotate it before saving it, but you can see the general gist of it.

This is the latest draft I used from Ars Textrina.  (No, the book does not 'name' the drafts, they are merely numbered.  For anyone interested it is Ars Textrina vol. 14, 1990, page 373, L.249, Lumscher Section 51, draft 5.  Be aware I also changed the small blocks to weave rose fashion while leaving the table in star fashion.)

The drafts in the book are just one repeat - the weaver/designer decides how to apply the repeat.  In this instance, I was working within the constraints of the size for a tea towel.  With very little editing, two and a half repeats fit, with a couple of straight runs for a border at the selvedge.

The length was more difficult.  The repeat was either going to be too long or too short.  After fiddling with it for a while I realized I didn't have to have the rosette but could repeat the 'table' in the middle.  In the end I fancied that it looked like a rose trellis around windows and doors.

But then another consideration.  There were rather a lot of heddles on shafts 5-8 while my loom is set up with the most heddles per shaft on 1-4.  No problem - I simply exchanged the threads from 5-8 to 1-4 and vice versa.  An easy edit given the shaft shuffler tool in Fiberworks.

Beaming this warp I nearly emptied a tube and ran a bunch of others down to the point where I am looking at using those up as weft on the next warp.

For this warp I am using up some more pirns full of yarn beginning with this soft greyed green.  Over the weekend I pulled some medium blue, and some brighter pale leaf green.  If there is warp once those are used up, I have some peach that I'd like to get rid of, too.

Yesterday I got two towels woven.  There should be enough warp for 19 or 20 towels although these are a little bit on the long side so might be only 18 or 19.  I don't really care because I will just keep weaving until it is done.

As for which side of the cloth will be the 'right' side?  I don't know.  Yet.  I may hem some with the white as 'right', some with the colour.  I'm sure either will be fine.  But I'm weaving them with the least number of shafts rising so the colour is what I see.  And I quite like it.

Currently reading The Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher

Monday, June 29, 2020



I have a 'significant' birthday coming up soon.

In years past, I would run a 'birthday bash' special sale and I have been trying to think of what I should do this year - if anything, given the state of the world.

What kind of sale?  What should I offer?  How long should I do it?

I used to run my special offer from July 1 (Canada Day) to July 9 (my actual birthday) but right now I'm not sure I really feel much like celebrating.



2020 has been a bit of a, well, 'interesting' year and looks to be getting much worse for some, but better for others.

And while I might make an offer, in the end no one is being obliged to take it.  It is just that - an offer.

So how to go about it?

Here is my plan, then.

From 00:01 July 1 until 24:00 July 9 your local time, anyone who buys a copy of The Intentional Weaver will also get a tea towel from me.  After making your purchase, email me a copy of your order confirmation, the colours you prefer and your mailing address and I will pop a tea towel into the mail to you.  Email laura at laurafry dot com

If you are outside of Canada, do a Google search for the title and you will be directed to the website that serves you.  (I have found that my including the link to the Canadian website means that people outside of Canada cannot place an order.)  Use the search term The Intentional Weaver blurb.com or some variation.

One of the unexpected benefits of choosing blurb.com for my mode of publishing is that it has the ability to ship around the world, reducing shipping costs for the purchaser.

And yes, I will mail internationally as one tea towel can be sent as a small packet which isn't terribly expensive.

We are half way through 2020.  Hang in there everyone!  If you need to go out, wear a mask.  Keep physical distance from others.  Wash your hands with soap and water when you get home.

Sunday, June 28, 2020


holding the shuttle thumbs up

There has been discussion on a group about developing pain during weaving.

For me it has always been about working as ergonomically as possible.

Physical ailments can prevent a weaver from weaving in many ways.  We deal with repetitive motions constantly, to the point of wearing down our bodies.  Some of us have actual injuries we need to work around.

So I try to explain the principles and then let the individual figure out how to make those principles work within their own particular circumstance.

Generally speaking, the thumbs up position is better than thumbs down.  

At the loom, sit with hips higher than knees.  Sit high enough shoulders do not have to hunch up to prevent elbows from banging into the breast beam.  Sit perched on the edge of the bench to prevent circulation from being cut off in your legs.  Sit on your sitz bones, not rotated back on your coccyx  Sit with abdominal muscles engaged.  Sit with straight back, no hunching of the shoulders across your back.

Wear some kind of protection on your feet.  At the very least socks, preferable a light shoe with some kind of protective sole.  On one loom I wear ballet slippers with the firm leather down the centre of the sole.  On the Megado I wear Merrells with a firm sole.

A few years ago (quite a few now) I did video clips and loaded them to You Tube.  They are amateur in terms of production and may not show the precise angle you would like to see.  We did a better job with the DVD where a professional photographer used three cameras to get different points of view.  (I was in no way responsible for the editing but I did the best I could to inform them of what I felt needed to be in the frame.)

That DVD has been turned into an on-line 'class' The Efficient Weaver

I also discuss a lot of the principles in The Intentional Weaver.

Or click on the ergonomic link to the right.

Take breaks.  Rest.  If you feel pain, stop.

Saturday, June 27, 2020


A friend made masks for Doug and me. 

Wearing masks has not been a societal 'norm' in North America but frankly?  It should be. 

We would all be better off if, during cold/flu season and in the midst of a global epidemic (pandemic) we would stay home if at all possible - if not, then wear a mask.

First and foremost a mask will protect *you* from catching the virus.

Secondly, if you have the virus but have not developed symptoms yet, it will protect others from any virus you might be shedding.

I am compromised on several fronts - a blood cancer that leaves me open to catching anything that wafts by - specifically a cancer of my immune system.  Cardiac issues.  While I have not - yet - had a heart attack, I really do not want to damage my heart.  Like the anesthesiologist commented, I have a good heart, crappy plumbing.  And last - but not least - I am in the age bracket that does not do well, statistically, with fending off this particular virus.

I am selfish.  I want to live a while longer and I would prefer to do it without the health deficits that many are reporting after surviving this virus.

No, it isn't much fun wearing a mask - not in the heat, nor will it be in cold weather, given I wear glasses.  But I'm used to glasses fogging up, I will deal with it.

This morning I read that airlines are lifting their plane load capacity and ending physical distancing on their planes.  Which makes me leery to take any long distance trip.

I am not going to rush to dine out.  I'll eat at home, thanks, as boring as that may be.

I am not going to go to a party, or other location where people are packed in with poor air circulation.

And I rather suspect a lot of other people are going to stay safe at home as much as possible, too. 

Until there is a reliable vaccine or at the very least a cure, not just dealing with symptoms, I am not planning on venturing out and about.

If the weather ever improves I will resume my walks in the neighbourhood, but in the meantime I am pretty much staying put.

But if I do need to go out, I have masks, and I will wear them, inconvenient or not.

Friday, June 26, 2020


I really love the design known as Snail's Trails and Cat's Paws. 

Weaving is mostly straight lines, either up and down or diagonally.  But it can also be curves.

Exploring the theme of Delft pottery yesterday, I found enough yarn to make a warp for the draft I had developed.  It is mostly a mid-range blue - except I didn't have quite enough tubes of that colour.  Not that I have been doing solid warps of late anyway, much preferring to toss several different colours/values into the mix.

So I put in a few tubes of this and that, paying attention to value more than hue. 

Delft pottery is a white background with blue decoration that varies from a kind of cobalt blue to somewhat darker, somewhat lighter, sometimes having a greyed aspect to the colour.  Since I'm beginning to run out of yarn (horrors!) on my quest to weave down my stash, I wound up putting a greyed blue in the bin as well as a dark green.  In the end I managed to get the 32 tubes needed to fill each section, but it took a while, sometimes choosing, then rejecting, then deciding that in the grand scheme of things, it would be ok.

In the photo above you can see lines in the warp from where several light values got grouped together.  I do try to mix the yarns thoroughly, but in the end if there are lines such as above, I don't fret about them too much.

And so today I will be pressing the last of the scale design towels - there was enough for a total of 19 towels, which will be posted on ko-fi in the next day or two. 

Then I will begin beaming the white warp for the rose trellis design.

The weather so far this year has been mostly cool with almost daily 'monsoon' type rains.  The rivers around here are in flood.  But perhaps the rain is keeping the bush wet enough that we won't have a nasty wild fire season.

Our province is continuing to open up, with the health director cautioning people to keep physical distance and wear masks.  I have been offering my carport for the stitch group I belong to to meet.  Our carport is large and when the van is backed out into the driveway there is plenty of room for people to sit and stay safe while we have a visit.  The carport provides shade from sun or protection from rain.

Summer is quiet for the guild but I expect that we will be coming up with a re-opening plan for the guild room soon.

The Maritime provinces have done a great job of flattening the curve of the pandemic, and have been opening up for a couple of weeks.  They are now saying they will widen their  'bubble' to include travel between the Maritime provinces.  With the Olds classes scheduled for the beginning of September, it may be possible for Canadians to travel to Nova Scotia for the classes.  Time will tell.

In the meantime I continue to stay home as much as possible while Doug does the outside errands and we both wear masks when out in public.  Because we can't control what other people do.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Mulling Things Over

draft for next towel warp

The current warp is nearing completion and it is time to begin organizing the next warp in the queue.

Drawing upon the Ars Textrina information provided by Patricia Hilts, I selected a twill block design, tinkering with it to be suitable for a tea towel.

Over several days I revisted the draft, editing it, tweaking it here and there until I had something I thought would work.


It was 'too long' for a tea towel.  Not really, but longer than most people would find comfortable to use.  But not really suitable for a table runner.

So I parked the idea firmly on the back burner and let it simmer while I looked at it from several angles - so to speak.

In the end I decided it really was going to be too long and last night edited the draft one more time making a minor change that shortened the draft by about 2 inches, bringing it much closer to a standard tea towel size.

Now my tea towels are not all the exact same size.  I do have to make allowances for size of motif, how big a repeat is and so on, but they do tend to stay withing a range.  This draft now does that.

When I finished weaving for the day yesterday I took a look at how much warp is left on the beam.  I still have a hard time judging how much is left on the tiny warp beam of the Megado although I am beginning to get a sense of it.  So I think that maybe there might be enough warp for three more towels, but if there is only enough for two, I'm good with that.

If there is only enough for two, I should be able to cut this warp off the loom today and begin setting the loom up tomorrow for the above project.

Just as an aside...the original draft put the bulk of the warp yarns on shafts 5-12.  Since most of the heddles on the Megado were put onto the first four shafts, I did a shaft shuffle and changed the threads around so that they were placed on the shafts with the most heddles.  In the end I ran out of heddles on one of the shafts and had to tie on more.  But that sort of thing isn't a big problem, just a little annoyance that I know how to overcome.

And now I will begin working on the warp after this one.  I have been eyeing a mid-range blue, thinking about Delft pottery...

Wednesday, June 24, 2020


dolphin at the aquarium

On a trip to Florida a few years ago we visited one of the aquariums.  They stressed that their primary mission was to care for those creatures who had been injured - they treat their injuries, provide as good a quality of life as could be managed, given they would not survive outside of the protected area of the aquarium.

In many ways life is like that for humans too.  We have our protected areas that we tend to live in, pretty much ignoring what is happening outside of our 'bubble'.

In weaving people find processes that work for them, and pretty contentedly stay in that circle of knowledge.  When confronted by something new or different they will go back to the tried and true and when that doesn't work may feel frustrated.

I have my own area of contentment - my 'happy place'.  I have worked with a small slice of yarns that are commonly available (here), know them intimately, pretty much know the limits to which I can put them into use.

When I go outside of my comfort zone, I have to check my assumptions.  This may be a quite different yarn from what I most commonly use.  I cannot expect it to behave in the same way.

One of the reasons I appreciate the Olds program (and others) is that the student is forced outside of their comfort zone in order to learn.

Once they have learned, they may decide that not all of the things that one can do is of interest to them.  And that is also a perfectly good lesson to learn.  One I put into practice almost daily in my own studio.

But from time to time I do dip into other techniques.  For example I'm not overly fond of weaving with two shuttles.  Because it takes so much longer to alternate between the two - it isn't twice as long but more like 3 or 4 times as long to weave.

Recently I did an overshot project and all the reasons why I don't much like doing overshot came back to me.  In spite of the cloth turning out the way it was supposed to.  I felt fumble fingered, repeatedly dropping a shuttle, having to climb down off the loom bench, dig around in the herd of dust buffalo below the loom to extract shuttle and bobbin (which frequently popped out of the shuttle), get back onto the bench and deal with a bobbin covered with dust bunnies, find my place in the treadling sequence, begin again.

Not my idea of fun! 

But.  But.

The cloth turned out quite nicely.

Am I a fan of using two shuttles?  Still no.

Doing the Guild of Canadian Weavers tests, I was required to weave things that required two shuttles.  I was required to use yarns I wasn't comfortable with.  I was required to understand the weave structures that I might not be all that interested in.  Still aren't in some cases.  But I do have a basic knowledge of things like overshot, crackle and so on.  I was required to understand how to do draw downs and understand things like unit weaves, how to design with them, how to create motifs.

If we are to keep the craft healthy, not just 'alive', we need to have a core group of practitioners who understand the principles of the craft.  Who understand the mechanics of looms, not just paint all looms made by a specific manufacturer as 'bad' when what they are complaining about is a particular style of loom, never mind who made it.

We need people to understand the mechanics of the three main styles of looms, their benefits and restrictions.  And to understand that within one of those styles - counter balanced - that how the mechanics of the loom works matters.

I consistently see people say that you 'cannot weave unbalanced weaves on a counter-balanced loom' when what they really mean is that you may have issues on a roller style mechanical system.  I also keep seeing people say that you cannot have a counter balanced loom with more than four shafts when what they should be saying is that a roller style counter balanced loom is four shafts, but that a lever/ horse type of mechanics means you can have many more shafts.  For example I have woven on a 16 shaft lever/horse style counter balanced loom.  And the shed was nice and lovely.

It is tiring to see these generalizations repeated over and over and over again.  It is why I am committed to teaching for the Olds program for as long as I am able.  And why, if the classes in Cape Breton meet student enrollment in September, I will most likely climb on an airplane to make the journey from one coast to the other. 

Wearing a mask.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020


photo showing a red and beige fabric that represents plain weave as the design

Weaving is the kind of craft where on the one hand there is a great deal of precision, and on the other, not so much.

We can, with some effort, be quite precise in our math, in our physical skills, in our choices for density and weave structure.

The above photo shows a fun design woven in 1:3:3:1 twill over 16 shafts.  The overall effect is to represent a plain weave structure.  But that design is faux.  It is a visual pun, so to speak.

The effect relies on having a near perfect beat and a near perfect ppi.  The photo was taken with the cloth on the loom so the twill line is slightly steep.  After wet finishing the twill line is near perfect, which enhances the effect of showing a plain weave structure as the design in the cloth.

Part of the difficulty with the written word and attempting to share information of a technical nature is that there are so many things that can go wrong.  The choice of yarns might not be optimal.  For this effect to work, the yarns should be smooth.  There should be contrast between the warp and weft to enhance the effect.  In this warp a variety of colours were used, close in value and hue.  (2/20 mercerized cotton)  The weft was a single linen in a pale beige.  The effect would be muted if the warp and weft were the same value.

When it comes to someone else weaving this cloth, they may have a different loom, different choices for yarn, different ability to assess the density that might be required and achieve a consistent beat.

They might weave under a different degree of tension and more - or less - force in their beat.

They might be trying to achieve a 'perfect' twill line in the loom under tension instead of a 'perfect' twill line after wet finishing.

They might not understand that the yarns will behave differently in the wet finishing - the cotton will shrink more than the linen.

So while I can document what I do, I can share that documentation, someone else reading what I have done is making certain assumptions.  They are assuming that they and I have the same skills, the same loom, the same quality of yarns.  And none of that might be true.  In the end, their results, their experience, may well differ.

We all see the world through the lens of our experience.  What is true for me may not be true for someone else.  This is the reality bubble we each live in.

When an experienced weaver tells a new weaver to sample?  We are not being unhelpful.  We are telling the new weaver that they need to do their work.  Because change one thing and everything can change...    Any technical information I share is only ever a starting place for another weaver.

Draft taken from The Fanciest Twills of All  by Irene K. Wood

Monday, June 22, 2020


Stubborn, my mother called me.  As if that was a bad thing.  Which I suppose from her perspective it was.  Personally?  I prefer persistent...

But it can also be negative.  Especially when I stubbornly procrastinate about doing something that needs to be done, putting it off longer and longer until I really don't want to do it at all.

Maybe one of these years I will learn that if I just go ahead and do it, I wouldn't need to have it hanging over my head.

But stubborn?  I'll accept that.

I stubbornly worked at making weaving (in one form or another) my life's work.

Stubbornly I stuck to working on my Guild of Canadian Weavers master weaver certificate.

I would not give up on trying to find teaching gigs or submitting articles for publication.

Persistently I worked at producing Magic in the Water.  And then The Intentional Weaver.

If I hadn't stubbornly carried on with those things, I would not be the person I am today.

On the other hand, I have also learned when to cut my losses and give up on something.  How do I know which is which?  I don't.  Not really.  I have no idea which ideas I have had that were worthwhile.  I just kept on working on some things and let others go.  It is almost as if - stick with me here - the bigger the dream, the more I had to do it. 

In spite of how much money it took to get it done (because Magic was *very* expensive to produce), in spite of the emotional toll it took on me.  In spite of the energy and time I poured into it.  Maybe because of that last one.

But there comes a time when I can assess where I am, how much energy and time I have left, and let go of Big Dreams.

And that is ok, too.

So while I am 'retired', it is from a slice of my professional life.  Specifically, I am no longer seeking teaching dates (beyond Olds, when ever that program might be possible - if I still have the energy when it does), or weaving primarily to sell.

But it doesn't mean I'm not weaving.  Because I am.  I am also being selective in what I weave and for whom.  But I did accept a commission from someone else and today I am putting the finishing touch to that.

I am also finding that weaving on the smaller loom is becoming more of a problem.  I am going to have to monitor my physical health and then decide if I really can keep weaving on that loom or if I find it a new home.

These changes over the past year or so have not been easy.  Nostalgia colours what I do - what I think I can do (but may not be able to).  Hope springs eternal that my physical issues resolve, but in reality?  They are probably just going to get 'worse'.

But I'm stubborn.  So I will carry on, as best I am able.  For as long as I am able.  

Sunday, June 21, 2020


Human beings are quite amazing, really.  Infinitely adaptable - even if we complain like crazy while changing.  Capable of critical thinking, analyzing, making the most of what we have.  Or staying stubbornly stuck in where we are, refusing to change or move.

We construct a reality and then stick with it, sometimes refusing to see any evidence that perhaps our bubble is not helpful, or healthy.

We make our bubble as comfortable as possible for us and those we value, sometimes to the detriment of those outside of our own bubble.

We are living in interesting times right now.  Attitudes are being shaken up.  People who don't want to change because they have a comfortable bubble are having a hard time.  We want to stay cocooned safely in our bubbles.

But a cocoon is a pretty constrained place.  While it might be comfortable enough, it isn't until the butterfly emerges from the cocoon that it can fly freely and continue to grow and live life as it was meant to be.

Even though I have been aware of my bubble of white privilege and have been working to break that down, I constantly bump up against the systemic (yes, it is systemic) attitudes ingrained in our society and even our language.

It is difficult to undergo dramatic change, but current affairs are making us aware that the time has come for change.  What we will do and look like at the other end of the breaking down of bubbles/cocoons no one really knows.

Just this morning I learned of a piece of history I had no knowledge of, in spite of having a pretty decent education.  And so the journey continues as I learn more.

Saturday, June 20, 2020


For years my personal 'new year' has begun at the winter solstice.  But I am reminded that as we mark the winter solstice, the southern hemisphere is marking their summer, and vice versa.

In some communities, such dates were marked with fire - fire to bring the light to banish the dark.  In April one year I was in Sweden for the spring equinox and they also used fire to 'encourage the sun' in its annual journey from dark winter and then back to spring. 

Humanity is built on light.  When things seem dark, we long for sunshine.  We long for illumination.  Sometimes we do that by lighting candles or huge bonfires.

And so, today, in the northern hemisphere, we mark the summer solstice.  The day when the earth changes from lengthening days to shorter daylight hours.

We are not half way through the calendar year, but time as we know it is a construct, one that ignores the fact that the summer solstice is truly half way through the annual journey round the sun.

And what a year it has been.  Nor is it over yet.

We are living through 'interesting times'.  May I live long enough to see things get better for those who are hurting.

Peace and good will to everyone. 

Friday, June 19, 2020


This draft was created a number of years ago - in fact many years ago.

It was for the master level of the Guild of Canadian Weavers certificate and is a draft for huck lace, incorporating spot, lace and plain weave areas.  Many hours were spent running through options and placement of the three different weave structures in order to create a textile that I would be pleased to weave.

Weaving software doesn't take the creativity out of weaving.  What it does is allow me to run through a lot more options before settling on what I am going to put into the loom.  After using weaving software (Fiberworks for anyone interested), I am pretty good at getting what I want - or something that I am willing to spend the time setting up the loom and weaving.

For the GCW tests, I relied more on my own knowledge and less on resources, but I'm not above using shortcuts, referencing drafts that already exist, tweaking them to suit my purposes.

So it was with the warp waiting in the wings.  I tend to use the time during which I'm weaving off a warp to think about and design the next one(s) in the queue.

Right now I've pretty much accomplished my goal of emptying (most of) the pirns of their 2/16 cotton, but there are still some left to do.  So I'm still in tea towel mode.

My goal of weaving down my stash has progressed nicely and I'm beginning to see gaps on the shelves as the tubes reduce in diameter, some of them even emptied.

Now that our province seems to be suppressing the Covid-19 here, we are slowly beginning to look to the future and what that will mean.  The two major craft fairs are cancelled, but the guild still needs income.  So one guild member is looking at potentially opening an on-line sales page on the guild wetsite.  We are also discussing how and if we could or should hold sales in the guild room.  Personally I think it could work if we think it through (and yes, masks in the room will be required - we have a number of immune compromised guild members).

Human beings are resourceful and adaptable.  I am quite sure that in the face of a pandemic virus with no vaccine and no 'cure' - yet - that wearing masks in public will become accepted as normal.  As one health professional commented to me, maybe if people get into the habit of wearing a mask, cold and flu season will be less severe, too.

We take safety precautions every time we get into a car - the car itself has been engineered to provide more safety in terms of construction, and we wear a seat belt.  We wear safety goggles, hard hats, and protective equipment without thinking too much about it.  Maybe masks will join the rest of those items and we will all be better off for them.

edited to add the photo of the silk scarf...

Thursday, June 18, 2020


Procrastination.  It's a thing. 

There are times when I find myself not really wanting to do something, finding all sorts of distractions for not Doing The Thing.  Dragging my feet.  Shoving That Thing aside, over and over again. 

The more I shove it aside, the less I want to actually do it.

Over the years there have been all sorts of things I really did not want to do, but must.  And every single time I have learned that the reluctance to just Do The Thing becomes bigger and bigger and the less inclined I am to just Do The Thing.

I always have an excuse, oh my yes, I do.  Sometimes the excuse is legitimate.  But most frequently it isn't.  I allow the more 'interesting' distractions to push the thing I do not really want to do aside until it goes 'critical' and I must Do The Thing.

And every single time I find that the thing I did not want to do really wasn't all that bad, once I finally forced myself to just Do The Damned Thing, get it done and over with and out of my hair.

So I tend to cope with those projects by setting deadlines.  Goals.  Telling myself quite firmly that I must Do The Thing on such and such a day, have it complete by such and such a date.

Being self-employed for 40+ years, I have had to be firm with myself over and over again.  I have worked hard at my craft, figuring out the principles and honing my skills.  When I set my mind to getting something done, it may not bring me 'joy', but it brings me peace of mind.

Now that weaving is my hobby, I have let a few things slide.  This week I am getting one project completed, and hopefully once it is done I can do the next more interesting thing.

My goal of weaving down my stash continues.  I am pleased with the design for the next tea towel warp, but first I have to do the things on my current To-Be-Done list.  Now that I'm getting down to the dribs and drabs of the tubes of 2/16 cotton, I should begin to see some real holes open up on the shelves. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Best You Can

"Do the best you can until you know better.  Then, when you know better, do better."  This quote from Maya Angelou is one that resonates with me daily.

We come into this world a 'blank slate' upon which our life experiences write themselves.  We learn how to navigate the world.  We make mistakes.  We get taken to task for them, or we get away with making them, thereby learning nothing except that we got away with it that time.

There are things in my past I would love to erase.  Times when I was unkind or cruel.  I try to remember them so that I don't repeat them.

I consider myself a 'nice' person.  When I am thoughtless and someone calls me out for being thoughtless, I don't like it.  It is uncomfortable. 



It is a wake up call.  And I need to pay attention.

We are living in 'interesting' times right now.  If you are white, I urge you to think about how your life is different from that of a POC.  While life may not be everything I hoped for, I know for certain that my life is not being made worse because of my skin tone.

As someone who strives to teach others a craft, I sometimes run into a student who gets defensive because I provide them with information they did not know.  That challenged their assumptions.  Instead of adding the knowledge to their information bank, they sometimes argue with me.  They want 'proof'.  They want 'citations'.  I'm a weaver not a medical person.  That doesn't mean I can't understand basic ergonomics and what will harm a body.

This past week I had a wake up call of my own.

With the new loom, I sit in a different position and the mechanics of the loom are different from the AVL.  The Megado is a much taller loom and while I always did 'perch' at the AVL, the design of the Megado means that my old position was a little bit different from what is needed at the new loom.

My body has been abused with years of repetitive motions and I have injuries that need to be protected.  So it happened that I began experiencing lower back pain.  Nothing seemed to make it better, nothing seemed to make it worse.  But I was in low grade pain for a while, treating with pain killers and anti-inflammatories.

A few days ago I was weaving on the Megado with the problem of this low grade pain simmering in the back of my brain.  Sub-consciously I did a wee inventory of my body while I wove and suddenly I realized that I was not engaging my abdominal muscles.

Huh.  I would have thought doing that simple 'clench' would be automatic but once I noticed that lapse, engaged the muscles, my back started to settle down.  Not right away - of course not - inflamed muscles take a while to calm down.  But that night I didn't have quite as much pain.  Over the next three days the pain slowly died down.

Changing attitudes about things like white privilege is like inflammation in muscles.  You need to be aware of it.  You need to consciously act to prevent it.  You need to repeatedly address it.

None of that can be done if you continue to ignore the underlying cause and just treat the symptoms.  Because pain killers and anti-inflammatories were only a treatment of the symptoms, not the cause of the problem in the first place.

When you know better...do better...

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Not Perfect

The colours in the photo are not quite accurate, but pretty close.

This warp was a bit of a departure for me as I haven't been doing over all designs like this much.  For a while I've been doing large 'fancy' twills, or block twills.

This design has always appealed to me in part because of the nice curves, in part because it looks like scales or small feathers.  In my head I had been thinking of it as peacock feathers (the small ones, not the large 'eyes') but the colours aren't quite right - too subdued and not very brilliant in hue.  When I posted this photo to Facebook, someone commented that it was mermaid scales. 

They aren't 'perfect'.  I know where the 'wrinkles' are.  But they are pretty good and overall, I'm pleased with them.

With the AVL I used to be able to keep weaving for up to around 40 yards before needing to cut the cloth off the storage roller, and even then, there was no need to re-tie as I would cut off at the beam down at the back of the loom, not up at the front of the loom.

But the Megado doesn't have a cloth storage roller, and I was getting tired of 'fighting' with the growing roll of cloth and needing to fuss with setting tension every time I advanced.  Finally decided to bite the bullet and cut it off and re-tie - see if that would make the second half of the warp easier to set tension on.

It was also past time I needed to deal with the rest of the warp on the Fanny, so it made sense to cut off the 10 woven towels and get them wet finished so I could begin hemming them while I tackled the warp on the other loom.

The warp is the usual 2/16 cotton, but because the weave structure is based on a satin, I increased the epi to 36 and it looks like it is the correct density.  I didn't have any trouble beating more or less to square and maintaining a consistent beat.    Or close enough.

These will go up for sale on my ko-fi account when they are hemmed and given their final press.  They will be the same price as the other towels, which is a bit of a bargain, given the extra work involved - more ends per inch, more picks per inch, more yarn per towel.  But they should be ready soon-ish if anyone is interested.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Exploring Options

Just because there is a pandemic and civil unrest doesn't mean that life for some stops.  While we can try to advocate for people who are suffering, it's also good therapy for me to continue with my weaving practice.

So here is an example of drawing on a historical resource:  Patricia Hilts Ars Textrina submission from December 1990, volume 14 from Nathaniel Lumscher's book published in 1708.

The book is a volume of drafts, most of them for 8 and 12 shaft looms with a few drafts for 16 and 20.

Thumbing through the book, looking for inspiration for the next tea towel warp, I came across one that I sort of liked given the yarns I wanted to use next - 2/16 white, bleached and natural (because I don't have enough of either for a warp and because if one colour is good, two is better.)

The original design was a bit 'blocky' but I know how to move blocks around so I transcribed the draft as given exactly, then moved the blocks around where I wanted them, then changed the shape of the blocks from the tables in the corners to roses, separated by tables.  Then repeated it all until I had the length needed for a tea towel.

The length is a bit on the long side, so I may cut back on the hem areas, or I may adjust the centre of the treadling.  Or I may just leave them really long.  To be determined.


Certainty is very comforting.

Certainty can be a powerful 'drug'.

It can also close a mind to additional information.

In weaving, new practitioners want to know The Answer.  They want to know what to do.  They don't take much comfort being told 'it depends'.

Just like in life, weaving is chock full of variables.

In the photo above (which regular readers of this blog will be familiar with), two yarns are shown.  Are they the same?

Quite obviously - not.

And yet...

Both yarns are spun from cotton.  Both yarns have approximately the same number of yards per pound.  Frequently weavers assume that they are in fact identical when, upon closer examination, they are obviously not.

When the differences are pointed out to them, some people get quite defensive because they didn't know.  As if their certainty was some kind of character flaw and they can't accept that their certainty was misplaced.  Misguided, even.

When all it means is that they were not completely informed, which is nothing to feel shamed about, just, you know, accept the fact that that certainty was based on incomplete information, and now that they know better, they might want to do better.

Because that's the thing.  Life is all about learning more.  Doing the best we can until we know better.  And then doing better.  Making more appropriate choices, based on the more complete data.

So when someone says they don't know something, and they are given more information, the appropriate response is to not chastise the person doing the informing.  The appropriate response is to thank the person for taking the time to educate.

When white people say they don't see racism, the reason is because they are not the ones being discriminated against.  When POC report constant harassment and suppression, white people need to take a moment to see what is happening.  The appropriate response is to look at their own attitudes and examine how they feel when another black (or brown or whatever 'non' white) person is killed/injured, ignored or verbally abused in public.

And again I suggest white people who do not understand racism in North American society seek out and listen to what Jane Elliott has to say.  Because maybe it will make more of an impact coming from a white person than the hundreds of black people who have been trying to get the message out for decades.

The first step is to set aside certainty and open ones mind to more information.

Sunday, June 14, 2020


We have an opportunity during this time, in this place, to change 'normal'.

For white folk not understanding what is happening to 'other' people (i.e. 'not white'), find out who Jane Elliott is (handy link here to start) and think about what she has to say.  It will take some time.  You may find what she is saying uncomfortable.  You may want to leave the room.  Admit that you have the luxury of doing so while POC in North American society cannot change out of their skin in order to be treated fairly, equitably.

There are numerous video clips on You Tube of her meetings and seminars and even her original study Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes.  I urge everyone who is not aware of these to take some time today, on Sunday, 'normally' a day Christians are supposed to spend in prayer and contemplation, to think about what their life is like compared to someone else's.

I have been aware of white privilege for quite a long time.  For a time I did not see how I could personally make a difference.  Until I became fed up with opinions, loudly stated, by some family members and began to push back.  It was not well received, to say the least.

In the past few years I have become much more vocal in speaking up on the internet as well as in my daily life.

There were a number of things posted to the internet this morning that revealed the perception of what is 'normal' and what is not in North American society.  It is time for people to address the things that white people consider 'normal' and what they consider 'normal' for people of colour.

If a political party loudly claims that they are 'Christian' I want to see them behaving according to the teachings of Christ, not what some 'prosperity' preacher is touting.

This is the time to listen.  This is the time to learn.  This is the time to change things for the better for ALL human beings, not just the ones in power, currently.

Thus ends today's sermon...

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Weaving Drafts

What new weavers don't always understand is that a weaving draft is just a set of possibilities.  The draft shows how a loom can be set up with a threading progression (in this case point over 16 shafts) and then how the shafts can be combined in a particular sequence to achieve a motif.

That's it.

The draft does not contain any information about what threads to use, how dense they should be used, or the colours.  There is no information about dimensions of a textile because a draft isn't about a particular textile, it's about a weave structure.  How the threads move through the cloth.

A few years ago (quite a few now) I looked at the threading for a pattern/design referred to as Swedish Snowflake in North America.  Then I condensed it so that something similar could be woven on four shafts (and brazenly called it Canadian Snowflake).

The motif isn't as 'strong' or obvious as the 8 shaft version, but it allows people with only four shafts to do something complex.

Yes, I still offer the Canadian Snowflake draft but it comes without any information on yarn to use, epi/ppi, or colours.  Because that isn't the point.  The point was - is - to just provide the set up that can result in the snowflake motif for four shafts.  (email me if you want the draft - I send it as a Word file.)

One of the reasons I like having 16 shafts is for the flexibility one has.  With a point progression over 16 (or 20 or 36 etc) shafts, a multitude of 'fancy' twills can be woven.  There is even a book that has documented a number of drafts for 16 and a few for 20 shafts. 

Called "16 Harness Patterns; the fanciest twills of all" taken from the weaving notebooks of Fred A. Pennington, written and compiled by Irene K Wood, I bought it when it first came out in 1984.

I also have the book by Oelsner, which is a similar compendium of drafts, many on straight or point progressions for various numbers of shafts and treadles.  The scale motif comes from Oelsner's book.

Patricia Hilts work on the weaving manuscripts from the 1700s (I think) is also a favoured resource of mine.

These resources are available for anyone to use.  Weaving drafts cannot be copyright protected, only the specifics of what you do with them - so a particular combination of threads, colours, to make a specific cloth and published. 

A new weaver won't have the experience to know enough about yarns to make choices on their own, necessarily, so they rely on published patterns.  Or they do as others do - weave a LOT of samples, examine them, learn what happens when they do x, y, z. 

In the 21c we have many resources literally at our fingertips.  We can dip into on line resources.  We can take on line classes.  We can participate in weave-a-longs or now Zoom guild meetings.

The other night I had my first Zoom meeting with three weavers who live in TN, one in NC and moi, up here in BC. 

When you think about it, we live in pretty amazing times.  How much has changed since I first picked up a shuttle in 1975, since I chose to become a weaver. 

Weaving can be a life long journey into discovering how the craft works, or an expression of ones creativity or however one may want to practice the craft.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Pretty Peacock

Here is a wee peek at the current warp.  It's not true in colour, being a bit more green, but as good as I can get with my ipad camera and in the shadows beneath the loom.

The draft is built on a 5 end satin structure, so I increased the epi to 36 instead of the 32 I've been using for twill based designs.  This will make the towels a little thicker, but the fewer interlacements will still provide flexibility.  With a higher density they might not be quite as absorbent, but the longer floats will provide more surface to pick up water so it may all equal out.

Regardless, they will make towels.

With so much turmoil and uncertainty in the world right now, it seems pointless to carry on making things.

On the other hand, it is what I can do, in this time, in this place.

Hopefully more people will accept that wearing a mask will protect themselves and their loved ones and will turn them into a fashion statement.  Pretty soon we'll all be wearing them.  And then the spread of colds and flu will also reduce.

One hopes.

I'm nearly done hemming the last batch of towels.  I think they turned out well.  Not my taste for colours, particularly, although they would go into my kitchen with it's rosewood cabinets quite nicely.  But I have plenty of tea towels.  Yes, hand woven ones.  :)

Last night several of us got together for a Zoom chat and we talked about using textiles made by others.  When I grab a Robyn Spady or a Syne Mitchell tea towel, I think of them, send them love.  Tea towels may be 'mundane' in that they are intended for ordinary every day use.  But things made by people we love and respect are a much deeper connection to others.

As for me, I really love this warp, even though I'm weaving it 'upside down'.  I know what is underneath.  I know what will be revealed when the warp comes off the loom.  I know how they will, like a proud peacock, go out into the world, to hopefully bring a smile to others.

Currently reading Dead Land by Sara Paretsky.  And wondering how 2020 is going to affect things like TV shows and books in the future...

Thursday, June 11, 2020


Sometimes people learn better from graphics. 

I don't know the originator of these graphics - they have been shared on the internet such that attribution has fallen away so if anyone knows, let me know in the comments and I will edit this post accordingly.

The first one I saw was the top one, the bottom one I saw late last night (insomnia, how I loathe thee).

Over the years I have worked at overcoming my personal 'reality bubble'.  At first I didn't realize what I was doing, I just read everything I could get my hands on.  But that reading introduced me to the grey of most of human interaction.  I was exposed (if you will) to other cultures, other perspectives on history, stories of people who had different lived experiences to mine.

So we sit, each and every one of us, in a 'comfort zone' where we know the rules and how to navigate through the society we live in - as best we can.

As a white person, growing up in a majority white Euro-centric society, I learned a particular set of societal norms.  Which got stood on their heads when I lived for three months in Sweden.  Another majority white Euro-centric society but one with some rather different societal norms.

Since I have a very 'European' look about me (French-Canadian mother, German identifying father) so long as I kept my mouth shut people around me had no idea I *wasn't* Swedish.  Which meant for some serious stumbles on my part and confusion on theirs.

Having no other option than to move forward as best I could, no matter how frightened I was, I found an inner core of strength I didn't know I possessed. 

That strength was pushed down until I forgot I had it but it was there for me to draw on when needed. 

Having experienced a different society, been exposed to other lived experiences vicariously, being aware that some people had a hard time because of the colour of their skin, I have slowly been working at moving out of my comfort zone.

I won't say I don't see colour.  Of course I do.  But I will say that I have been working at not making colour the defining quality of any person I interact with.

On the above charts, I would say that I have been moving through the 'fear' zone and am now in the 'learning' zone.

There are days when I catch myself reverting to the fear zone.  When I feel the fear I calm myself, ask what I am afraid of, then decide if the fear is for a real threat or if I have been triggered by something - a word usually.  Because that is how emotional trigger words work - they bring up the fear in an effort to control your response to something.

I won't claim to be entirely in the Growth Zone in part because tearing down systemic attitudes is a lifelong task. 

All I can do is keep trying.

If you want to work on your own 'reality bubble' there are resources available.  Anti-racist resources have been  posted on Facebook and Twitter (and likely other places) or just Google it. 

To learn, listening must happen.  Time to listen, now.  Time to learn, now.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020


Emotions are not good or bad.  But emotions can be manipulated.

I've referred to emotional trigger words before, but perhaps it is time to give some examples of what they are and how the words that are used matter.

When I was in high school, English teacher talked about bias and emotional trigger words and how they can be used to shape someone else's thoughts and attitudes towards, well, anything.

One of the examples used was a well known advertising campaign of the day that loudly and proudly announced that "More doctors recommend (insert name of product)!"  The product was a brand of cigarettes and a number of years later it was revealed that the tobacco industry had paid numerous doctors to tout their product.

The teacher however, pointed out that saying 'more doctors' was an emotional tweaking of the attitude of people reading or seeing these ads.  More doctors than who?  What kind of 'doctor'?  Saying 'more' anything without giving the qualifier of who *isn't* recommending the product was essentially meaningless.  More doctors than plumbers?  Who are you going to believe? 

Advertising isn't the only industry that uses such emotional tweaking of course.  Editorial bias can be used in well, editorials.  Fiction.  Non-fiction.  TV shows and movies.  Music.  Sermons.  Any platform at all, including on the internet.

There are groups touting themselves as 'research' groups who constantly and consistently push the right wing agenda under the guise of polls that are heavily skewed.  Of course the left does this as well.  Some groups lost my support when they skewed their message so far out of reality I couldn't support them any more, in spite of some of the good they have done.

One of the groups is PETA.   Their staged situations are quite literally 'fake news'.  The bloody lamb last year was especially irritating.  First of all a lamb is not shorn at newborn age, but only when they turn one year.  And they would never, ever come out of the shearing shed covered in blood or the shearer would be fired instantly and shown to the property boundary post haste.   The fact that the ad used a nubile naked young woman was just plain sexist.

I'm not saying that animals are not abused - of course they are.  And we need to do better.  But the message that PETA was sending was all about triggering emotions and not about anything resembling reality.

The advice given us in class was to pay attention to the emotion being generated when we read or heard a message.  Take note of what that emotion was.  Ask yourself which words were used to trigger that emotion.  Then ask yourself why that word triggered that emotion and if it was an appropriate reaction if you then re-read or edited the comment without the word that triggered the emotion.

Here is an example from an ad I saw recently:

"This bbq cooking surface is made with real copper!"

Real copper?  As opposed to what?  Fake copper?  Why would 'real' copper be identified?  Because anything 'fake' is phony and not to be trusted?  Why not just say "This copper bbq surface provides even cooking and prevents food from falling through the bbq grid."   Focus on the benefits?  But triggering the emotion of 'good' is a subtle form of manipulating what you think so that you are more susceptible to the message. 

I suggest that as we move through the upcoming time of change that people pay attention to the words swirling around them.  Pause and inspect the emotions that those words trigger.  Ask yourself who is working to trigger those emotions and if you really want to be triggered in that way.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020


When I achieved the master weaver certification from the Guild of Canadian Weavers, Doug made me two cups with a copy of the certificate printed on them.  One facing me, one facing away from me.  One was to remind me that I had risen to the challenge and done it.  The other was to remind others.

For the last while I have been coasting in my comfortable rut.  It's a nice rut.  I know how wide it is and how deep.  The bottom is well trodden with few pot holes (yes, some, but usually anticipated.)

It has been quite satisfying, plodding along that well worn path.  From time to time I would branch out, usually because I was 'ghost weaving' for someone else.  Nothing like trying to meet someone else's specs to sharpen ones focus!

It was one of my stated objectives when I 'retired'.  'Retirement' being not weaving for sale as a major focus of my practice.  As such I didn't need to keep my eye on how long something was taking, working only with the most efficient of practices.  I could dip into weave structures that were, by their very nature, slower to weave.  Such as using two shuttles.

So I took on a project that required two shuttles just to see how it would go.  There have been some pot holes.  It has pushed me, in just the way I had said I wanted to be pushed.

It has not been comfortable.  But it has been a growth experience.  On the other hand, I am looking forward to the next warp being another comfortable rut.

We are all going through a challenge right now.  We have arrived at that state of 'interesting times' and many of us are feeling stressed and tired.  We are missing our usual routine (our comfortable rut) and longing to get back to 'normal'.

But 'normal' is a long way aways, and given that 'normal' wasn't all that great for a lot of people, maybe we need to look at new ways.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Finding A Way

Society is in the throes of great upheaval right now.  We are living in 'interesting' times.  Personally I could do without it, but...here we are.

As many of us are still self-isolating (and I will continue to do so for a while) it becomes difficult to know what to do.  Continue as 'usual'?  Well, things aren't as 'usual' right now because of the isolating.

As an individual, my powers to affect change are limited.  But what I *can* do is state, firmly and unequivocally that I am against racism, sexism, etc.

I am for lifting people up, not punching them down.  I am liberal in my political leanings.  I support socialist constructs like education, health care, infrastructure like roads, sewer, water treatment - for all.

Policies that are for the Common Good, that make life better for everyone, not just a few.

I would like to see people of wealth taxed appropriately rather than have the burden of these programs fall on the shoulders of people who are struggling financially.  I would like to see at least a 'living' wage rather than poverty wages such that a business hands new hires the application for food stamps because they KNOW they are not paying their employees enough to survive on, never mind thrive on.  I would like to see people have the health care they need - regardless of the colour of their skin. 

In a democracy, we have the power of our vote.  I would like to urge everyone to make sure they get out and vote, even when you know your vote isn't going to carry much weight.  Vote for people who are not bent on suppressing others by their policies. 

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Working for Change

Now that so many examples of systemic racism are being aired, I am - like so many white people - having to face my feelings about not knowing how bad it has been.

But that's the thing about systemic conditions.  We are a part of those systems and when they work to our benefit, we don't realize it until it is pointed out to us.

Over and over again, white people are being held to some kind of account.  Not that most of us had anything at all to do with implementing those systems.  But we also need to see them for what they are.  We need to accept the fact that we haven't seen them precisely because they are set up in our favour.

Our feelings can be harnessed to bring about actual change.  That discomfort you may be feeling?  You can use that to energize yourself to support those who have been suppressed.  Once you know better, do better.

There are many people who have been educating about racism and how the systems in place work.  It is not the responsibility of your black friends to educate you or justify their lived experience.

We are not innocent here in Canada and we also need to work towards changing the system so that it is equitable for all.

Someone on Facebook posted the comment that there are no white people in the Bible and asked white people to sit and think about that - take all the time needed.

Jesus was from the Middle East.  All the disciples were also from the Middle East.  If you believe in Jesus, then you have to accept that as the truth it is.  If you call yourself Christian, then you need to follow the teachings of Christ.  Not the later interpretations.  Not the current 'prosperity christians'.

There is literally nothing in the bible about white people being 'better' than people who are not 'white'.  Because there are NO white people in the Bible.  Take all the time you need...

Saturday, June 6, 2020


Today I am pressing 'pause' for me.  I woke with a roaring sinus headache.  I am wooly-headed and emotionally raw.

There are many pithy comments that completely sum up what needs to happen. 

You cannot drink from an empty cup.

If the masks come down, put yours on first before you try to help someone else.

A choir sustains a long note by allowing individuals to drop out to take a breath, then take up the note again.

If you find yourself empty, you are allowed to stop and re-fill.

If you cannot breathe, you are allowed to stop and take a deep breath.

Today I need to concentrate on a complex pattern and I need my focus to be on that.  So I am going to get dressed and go to the loom.  And fulfill the commitment I made to weave these 'samples' for another weaver. 

You are allowed to rest.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Pandemic Diarist

When I started this blog in 2008 I was still grieving for my brother who had died very suddenly in February of that year.  I was dealing with medical issues of my own (adverse drug effects as it happens) but was finally seeing improvement.  I was dealing with survivor guilt (my brother was six years younger than me, well loved in this town - it should have been me, not him).  I had to figure out a way to - I don't know - justify? - my continued existence.

So I called the blog Weaving a Life.

Now, here we are in the midst of a deadly pandemic.  I have been writing this blog, two or three times a week (on average) until suddenly people were being faced with physical distancing, dealing with cancelled plans, postponed classes (which may or may not also be cancelled), dealing with isolating themselves from friends and family.

And I had this platform.

Over the years I have written about weaving and how I have been dealing with my life.  I have had to self-isolate on several occasions, so this wasn't new for me.  It was just different because everyone was having to do it.

And so I paused my weaving content (mostly) and have been writing about what is happening in the world right now.

As a child I wanted to write.  Tried to write, with little success.  In school I did ok with essays, but when I wanted to express my inner most thoughts the poetry I wrote was juvenile (I was, after all a teenager with all the angst that entails) and my fiction was formulaic.

I set any dreams I had of writing aside.

And then I chose weaving as a 'career'.  A life, if you will.  I began writing class hand outs and then magazine articles.

A student called me a storyteller and I had to agree.  I had found my story.  The story of textiles.  How they were made.  It seemed I truly did have a knack for words - they just weren't the ones I had expected would resonate with other folk.

And now, here we are in 2020 in the midst of a pandemic and I have a platform.  Someone once challenged me to use my platform to speak up and out about things happening in the world.  I saw how many people were struggling, so I chose to press pause on the weaving content here and move it over to my ko-fi account, and focus on hopefully helping people get through this time, as best they can.

If you came for the weaving content, I hope you will stick around for the pandemic diaries.  If not, I understand.  Hopefully we can all get back to life (more resembling) normal soon.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

How the Light Gets In

Broken things.

I have been monitoring the situation in the US, not because I can do much - or anything, for that matter - about it, but to bear witness.

Yesterday was a tough day for me.  I struggled to come to grips with what I was seeing and how hopeless and helpless I felt.

I watched Mr. Trudeau struggle to say something when asked for his reaction and felt...the same.  There were simply no words.

As he spoke about our own problem with racism, I knew that he was correct.  Even he has foot dragged on implementing measures that would assist the aboriginal communities.  Even though he is not actively trying to kill Canadians, he needs to address the wrongs that have historically been present ever since white people arrived on the shores of this continent.

But the stories coming out of the US got worse and worse as the day went on and finally I had to go to the studio and get away from it all.

Me and my white privilege, sitting at the loom thinking.  Feeling.

Artists tend to say or show what other people cannot find the words for and eventually Leonard Cohen's lyrics came to me:

Forget your perfect offering.  There is a crack in everything.  That's how the light gets in.

And I thought about the Japanese methods of mending broken things.  Not to erase the break, the crack, but to show that the object had at one time been broken.  And mended.  And maybe even made more beautiful as a result.

We have an opportunity right now as a society.  We can look, open eyed, at the state of the world and we can choose.  We can choose to see systemic racism and how we have been conditioned to punch down instead of up.  We can choose to address the inequity that underlies our systems.  We personally may not be guilty of setting these systems up, but as a white person my life has not been made more difficult by the colour of my skin.

It is far beyond time that human beings stopped letting the level of melanin or the shape of someone's eyes or nose be the determining factor in whether or not that person is 'worthy'.

If you are white and not sure where to begin, I will recommend again that you Google Jane Elliott.  I have linked to a video on You Tube previously - it isn't hard to find.  Listen to what she has to say.  Ask yourself the question - are you willing to be treated like a Person of Colour is treated in our society?  If not, why not?  If not, then you know that they are not treated equally, equitably.

Let us mend our society.  Let us make it more beautiful by how we mend it.

Edited to add link to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's blog