Sunday, November 5, 2023

The Void


There are times I feel as though I am a broken record (young uns may not get the reference), saying the same thing over and over again, trying to find different ways to convey the information.

Because a student once said to me 'saying the same thing over and over exactly the same way doesn't help'.  So, I try.  I try to explain, using metaphors, similes, utilizing different examples.  I try to paint word pictures for those who can visualize, and actual demonstrations for those who can't.

At times I wonder if I am actually communicating, reaching people in order to promote understanding.

And, once in a while, I get an email (usually) from someone who lets me know that yes, I am reaching people, even 'remotely'.

Once in a while someone will email to thank me for my 'contribution to the weaving community' and I sigh a bit in relief, because that is what I am hoping to do.  Reach people in order to help them.  Give them hope that while they may suck at things right now, they can - with mindful practice - get better.  That the processes involved in weaving don't have to be onerous.  That it doesn't have to be frustrating, and potentially actually painful - forever.  It doesn't need to take forever to get a warp into the loom.*

When Interweave Press (as was) asked me to do DVDs I agreed on the condition that they come here, where my setup could be used.  I wasn't entirely sure they would agree, but in the end they came.  When we were in the airport checking them in to go home, the camera person commented to me that he had had very little hope that we could do two completely different topics in three days but that we had pulled it off, in no small part due to my extensive preparations.  I told him that I'd done just enough video work that I had a clue and had done my best to streamline the taping to make it fit.  

He nodded and agreed that yes, I did have a clue.

And that's the thing.  I came to weaving with a broad background of doing a variety of different jobs, had experience in a variety of different skills, plus my focus on efficiencies led me to be aware of how to film out of sequence to make the whole process able to be filmed with the post production taking care of sequencing it so that it made sense.  I had a filming schedule drawn up, had two locations, each suitable to the subject matter.  In the end, it worked, and worked well, and while I went to Vancouver to film there, I was clear on what I would need and again, had my schedule drawn up so that they knew what I was going to be doing and approximately how long it might take to do it.  In the end they added time which took a lot of pressure off.  And they were generous in both their fees and the travel budget they offered.  

Last night I got another email from someone who had taken a workshop with me, but recently took on a student who has been watching my online classes.  And commented that the online student had obviously been paying attention and that the student *also* could hear my voice in her head (implying that she did as well).

I guess that makes me an earworm?

But this feedback helps *me* to keep on.  Keep on writing.  Keep on posting here.  Keep on answering questions in the few groups I belong to online.

Because every once in a while, someone reaches out and lets me know that I am not speaking into the void.  There are listening ears and watchful eyes.  And they say that they have been helped.

And that, that right there, is why I do this.

*the video clip was filmed in one go.  The entire  warp was beamed in under 10 minutes.  I included the clock on the wall so that viewers could see that the entire clip was complete and continuous.  It doesn't need to be a mess or a tangle or take several days and several people to assist.  You don't have to do everything I do, but if you like my results, you might like to at least be aware of what it is I actually do?

Classes at School of Sweet Georgia and Long Thread Media are readily available.


Juli S said...

No, you aren't whistling into the void, Laura. While I warp front to back, as I first learned, I hear your voice telling me to look at what I do with a critical eye to see if 1. I could do it more efficiently and/or 2. more ergonomically. At nearly 70, my body needs to last another 20 years for weaving! Juli

Bette Nordberg said...

No whistling for you Laura. You should know that the ANWG 2025 is named after you, in a sense. "Weaving Webs 2025" refers to both the web that comes off the loom, and the friendships that make growth in this hobby so rich and rewarding. When we named the conference, we were thinking of you, and of all the ways you've enhanced our world. Maybe some conferees won't "get it," but those of us who follow you closely know EXACTLY what it means. It's a salute to your contribution! And I for one, thank you for all you've done and continue to do.

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, the mark of a really excellent teacher: saying the same thing over and over, but in different WAYS, because not everyone thinks alike, and what ONE person understands perfectly, ANOTHER person may be completely in the dark. Saying it differently reaches ....not necessarily 'everyone,' but certainly more people than saying it only one way could reach.