Warp and Weft

Winter                                                                            Waning Moon of the Winter Solstice

Other blogs seem to have a slant, a bias, a thing.  I suppose I do too in a general way, the idea of ancientrails, the Great Wheel, the garden, a po-mo pagan sensibility, but what I’m doing is more like an online journal.  On a bookshelf I have two rows of journals kept in various forms since 1971, many erratic in the entries, then, as life moved on, I became more regular.  At one point I had several journals.  A diary like one in which I wrote short entries about my day, a spiritual journey one in which I recorded my experiences of meditation, lection divina, contemplative prayer, scripture study, another in which I took reading notes while I studied Islam, the year after 9/11, several more with reading notes from a year + when I gave up writing and took to reading the classics:  Divine Comedy, Faust, Metamorphosis, works of that nature.  During the year I studied Islam I read the Koran twice, once just to see what it said and another time during the month of Ramadan as I fasted and read enough to finish the entire Koran in thirty days, as many Muslims do.  Yet other blank books contain notes on art history, taken over many years of continuing education at the MIA, ideas for novels, short stories, about writing.

Writing is the thread, the weft I have chosen to weave the tapestry of my life.  The warp threads, stronger by far, developed in body and mind, feelings and thoughts as this Self has moved through life since birth.  The stuff of my daily existence has been the weft when shuttled through with the language I learned at my mother’s knee and my father’s typewriter.

So, this blog is just another pattern,  a particular tartan for this phase of my life.  It may pass away at some point, I certainly will, but, as I wrote the other day, the Web may have granted us bloggers a type of immortality.

When Kate I and were on our honeymoon, in late March or early April of 1990, the last phase of our trip which started a block from the Spanish Steps in Rome, we took the train from Edinburgh to Inverness.  Inverness is the capitol of Celtic Scotland, the northern reaches of the Picts.  The river Ness, from the storied Loch Ness, runs right through town.  On a stroll one afternoon, Kate and I made our way to a tartan mill, a place where tourists could go in and watch tartans being woven.

That day, the master weaver changed over from one tartan to another.  What this involved has stuck me indelibly since then.  The master weaver carries in his head the particular combination of colors, of large spools of yarn, that make, say, the tartan of the clan Sinclair.  He achieves that  particular combination of colors and patterns not by computer, not by telling weavers what to do, but by placing, on a huge rack of iron hooks, individual spools of yarn.  The number of hooks across the top of the hook rack, maybe 25 or 25, below each hook came at least 20 more, maybe 25 more hooks creating a large frame of individual hooks slanted up.  By his placement of the spools the master weaver achieved his design for the yarn from these spools fed precisely into the looms which clicked and clacked behind them.

Later than night, after we had finished our meal at the Station Hotel, Kate and I walked along the river Ness, tendrils of mist floating up from it, weaving themselves forever into our memory.