There is an aspect of weaving that drives me slightly bonkers.  It’s an equipment issue.  Without getting too technical, all the threads on the loom must pass through a little hole in a metal holder called a heddle.  These heddles are suspended between two flat metal bars and are supposed to easily slide along those bars to any spot needed for the weaving. Voila:


The problems is…they. don’t. (slide, that is.)

Well, they DO slide. The real key word in that description is “easily” because since they are made of rigid metal wire and just have little oval loops of wire at top and bottom to go around the bars, it is extremely easy for them to tilt sideways and therefore, get stuck.  Unless they stay pretty much completely straight up and down, they won’t hang nicely and definitely won’t SHIFT.


If none of that is making sense, it’s ok; here’s the real point. One of the things I’ve learned is that to move the heddles, a gentle nudge instead of a push always works better…Oh no! She’s about to make another “weaving-as-metaphor-for-life” analogy!! Why yes. Yes, I am.

There are so many times in life that getting somewhere isn’t a matter of force, it’s more about a slight shift that will calmly take you where you need to be. I often get my heddles stuck because I want to move them several inches, if not feet, at a time and forget that to accomplish this, I will have to give them gentle little taps sideways instead of just pushing them as hard as I can. When I do the latter, they inevitably go wonky and lock up.

I don’t know if you’ve ever played with corn starch and water before but when I was a kid, my mom would mix up some and let us explore its amazing properties.  If you push against it or hit it with your hand, it becomes hard as rock because all the corn starch molecules are flat disk shapes and your force makes them stack together, unbending as bricks.  However, if you just barely glide your hand into the mixture, the water around all the molecules will let those disks slide across each other and the whole thing feels liquid-y and easy. (See? I can find life metaphors outside of weaving!!!)

Someday I’ll learn that gentleness instead of bullheadedness, kindness and encouragement instead of force and insistence, can move all those heddles.

2 thoughts on “Shift”

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