2011 so far...

So far 2011 has not been quite as smooth as I would have hoped, and I believe today is only January 9.  It is just the little things like dropping a glass jar on your big toe (when the other big toe is infected from an ingrown toenail).  I went out to start my car Friday night to go to some gallery openings in Santa Fe--you know, a fun evening out with friends, and it made a horrible clicking sound, the lights on the dash jumped in weird frantic little ways, and it made no attempt to turn over whatsoever.  We got out Emmy's jumper cables (brand new and fabulous), but this effort did not change the frantic machinations of the 2000 Volkswagen Golf (with 219,000 miles now). Visions of tow trucks have danced in my head ever since.  I have loved this car a lot.  It has never demanded any major maintenance jobs and I fear this may be the week when she wants something major replaced.

It is the little things this week that made me wonder if this year is bound for glory or something a little rougher.  I woke up in my work trailer with a swollen eye which made it look like I had been crying all night (related to another infection)... which I decidedly hadn't though work didn't smell much like roses this week either... and my most comfortable jeans just sprung a large rip in an inappropriate place.

My body may be riddled with infections, advancing wrinkles, and an incipient "muffin top", but it was a beautiful day in northern New Mexico.  The below-zero weather has left for the time being, the sun is out, and the mountains are gleaming under their blanket of snow.  I'm stirring my dye pots and enjoying the sunshine.

My sister made these fantastic socks for Christmas for Emmy and I.  Aren't they fantastic?  Check out the cable on the back of this one.

I was at the New Mexico History Museum Friday night and saw this poem.  Mount Blanca is a 14,000 foot peak in southern Colorado which is one of the sacred mountains of the Navajo people.  I used to live at the base of it.

Blanca Peak is adorned with white shell.
Blanca Peak is adorned with morning light...
She is the brightness of spring.
She is changing woman returned...
Because of her we think and create
Because of her we make songs.
Because of her, the designs appear as we weave.
Because of her, we tell stories and laugh.

--Lucy Tapahonso, Navajo (Dine) poet
"This is how they were placed here for us" 1997

May 2011 be full of learning, expansion, and hope despite the sometimes frightening state of the world.

From skeins to tapestry...

This is a photo of the yarn I dyed a couple months ago for the piece currently on the loom--also pictured here. The dye job took about three days as I only have one two-burner stove currently... so it takes a couple hours to get two colors. There are many more than two colors here. And since I was attempting to dye on the porch of the cabin on three of the windiest days summer in the San Luis Valley had to offer, I had to build little wind breaks around the stove with coolers and pieces of plywood and do the measuring and stirring on my knees. They're still recovering. But the sight of the finished yarn drying in the wind (the wind is good for fast drying) with Mt. Blanca behind them was worth the effort.
And then those colors started making a tapestry--this piece on the loom has a labyrinth motif (which really isn't a labyrinth at all because you couldn't walk those paths continuously, but it was what I had in mind while designing). The design hanging on the loom in the photo is only part off the piece. Just wait a few more weeks and I'll show you the whole thing (with luck and some extra time).
Weaving has been good for me lately. It brings me to a similar place that yoga or long distance hiking brings me... some indescribable place of peace (and sometimes exhaustion).