Knitting Hearts Together
The following reflection is part of the final integration project of a recent SGTI graduate. We found it deeply meaningful and hope you will enjoy it!
As a fiber artist and new graduate of SGTI, I have found that spiritual guidance is continually weaving itself into my life. My interest in fiber arts is centered around understanding how different materials can be manipulated to construct various objects. Projects begin with a focus on choosing materials based on weight, texture, color, and other features so that as they are manipulated they create items that are beneficial and beautiful. It is interesting to view spiritual guidance through my fiber arts lens.
Creating yarn on a spinning wheel produces single-plies of yarn that can be difficult to use by themselves so single-ply yarns are generally combined with one or more other plies. This process allows the combined plies to twist back onto and lock into themselves forming a much stronger yarn. The SGTI curriculum, the readings, videos, and audio segments ply together in a way that strengthens and reinforces each individual part. Like yarn that twists and locks creating firm foundations, we have a solid place from which to continue to learn and grow.
The Japanese art of kumihimo, begins with different threads that are braided together to form a cord or braid. Sometimes my vision doesn’t always turn out the way I thought it might, and I find myself unraveling and trying again. Reworking something (although it takes longer) always results in the creation of something better. Small groups and VRI’s allowed us to braid people with different life experiences into something cohesive. Occasionally I experienced the need to unravel and try again, but like kumihimo, things always came together and created something stronger and more beautiful. Cords of kumihimo have been found that are centuries old, may this sacred work last as long.
The 3-dimensional qualities of basket making piques my interest in construction and turned me into a basket maker. I am intrigued by baskets because they are used to contain things. They create or delineate spaces – just as we attempt to do for our seekers. Seekers need safe spaces and we have been finding ways to create them. Gratefully our seekers stepped into our containers knowing we were students and trusted us and the spaces we were creating.
My love of fiber has its roots in the potholder looms of my childhood and although my current loom is much larger, it remains all about warp and weft. The warp on a loom are the long threads that are held under tension and the weft is drawn through, over and under the warp. The warp must be in place for weaving to happen and needs to be strong and accommodating of the weft. Jeanette and Jan, our supervisors, our year-long mentors, and our own spiritual guides provided the warp for our individual wefts, allowing us to create whole cloth.
Although our time together as a cohort is drawing to a close, I will be forever grateful and I’m leaving sharing my delight in knitting for another time. I must say however, that it is through knitting that our hearts come together in love.
~ Lisa Ray Janes
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Deepening the understanding, practice and importance of spiritual guidance-companionship across traditions.
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