Monday, May 31, 2010

Untangling Knots

As much as macramé is the art of tying knots, it’s the art of untangling them too. Carefully twisted loops and coils become necklaces, bags, and sandals, while snarls of misbegotten twine become a life metaphor. Macramé reminds me that parallel cords never tangle. They needn’t be bundled or even kept separate from one another. The longest strings can lay harmlessly side by side in what appears to be a completely chaotic mass of twine. Yet gentle tugging reveals each cord has its own path. They slide easily into the knot work.

The trouble begins when one cord wraps around itself. When I look at the source of the biggest snarls, I invariably find a tiny noose where one cord encircled itself and caught other cords in its circle. A person who’s “wrapped up in herself” enact a similarly destructive narcissism. She looses sight of others in the glamour of self. Their stories become merely an extension of her story. The naturally parallel, though still intimate and cooperative, threads are caught up in a loop of hurt feelings, ego, or fear. As more and more cords get snarled, the knot expands, until that first tiny noose is lost in the mess it created.

Yet macramé has taught me to follow the threads back to their beginning, back to the free end where change and tangles are made and unmade. All it takes is loosening that one circle to free the others. If I’m lucky, the caught cords haven’t formed their own snarls. They return easily to their original purpose. Other times, they’ve formed a whole series of interlocked nooses and tangles. Yet the most impossible knot forms when the other cords escape and the looped cord is pulled into a tight, lonely knot. Life, like a knot, needs space to uncoil. Though the circle may hold and protect, it can also entrap when I endlessly reenact my mistakes or replay my frustrations, rather than weave them into life’s knot work. Thus macramé is the art of tying and untying, repetition and innovation, tension and patience, making and unmaking, --the art of living.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Knotting Song

These little songs come and go: gifts from the spirits. When I leaped--or rather hobbled--back to my bead box, I was disappointed to realize the "knotting song" had slipped my mind. I remembered a bit about seeds and beads, but the words and rhythm drifted formlessly. After all, I hadn't made macramé in over a year. Only the lull after graduation and a sprained ankle freed enough time and inspiration to string beads...and dredge my mind for weaving songs.

Happily today, as I began the long work of creating a macramé hoop, the words returned. I'm writing them down in hopes they'll linger. ~Blessed Be~

Sort and gather, searching for seeds,
Sort and gather, stringing the beads,
Sort and gather my mother’s red thread,
Tangle and spiral, both form a web.

What I make, the hands give shape.
What I break, I mend,
What I take, I give.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hooping: The Gateway Drug

The moment I started spinning my new staff, I was amazed by the parallels to hooping. Weaves, the rising sun, passes, and spins all translated into mind boggling new patterns. I’m in love…all over again. I’m experiencing all the excitement and discovery as when I first started hooping, but this time around I have a foundation of flow techniques to build on. Yet the staff has its own flow and physics. I feel so much of my hoop-style being transformed into this new tribal-ninja dance. I’m in love with the staff’s long lines and freedom of motion.

Seriously, if you’ve been considering a new prop, go for it! Not only am I completely smitten with my new toy, but my hooping is reinvigorated too. Freed from the entire weight of my prop-addiction, my recent hoop jams feel more spontaneous and inspired. So in a way my hoop has a new lover too!

I don't have any pics or videos yet, so I'll leave you with a video from Linda Farkas, a spinner who embodies grace and technical skill with a whole host of yummy flow toys.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Co-Mo Hoop Jam

The Columbia Hoop Club will host an open hoop jam on Sunday, May 23 in Peace Park. Spinning starts at 3:30. Linger into evening to watch the LEDs and fire twinkle!

I'm so happy to reconnect with my riverside hoop family. Hopefully my kevlar will arrive between now and then so I can finish my fire staff!

Columbia Hoop Club - Come Together from Virtuous Luna on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Twinkle, twinkle in my mind,
Tiny baubles in tangled twine,
The thread, the knot, each woven row,
A word where rippling waters flow.
As sycamores bow to greet bright breezes,
The mind will twinkle as she pleases.

-Graduation day, May 14, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bead Box Bliss @ Midwest Hoopfest

Give your hips a break and learn some new knotting techniques with Tangled Macrame! Beginners will learn to make a half knot (spiral) bracelet. We’ll discuss methods for ending and tying off macramé jewelry, as well as some funky square knot variations for more experienced macramakers.

Materials will be available for everyone to make one bracelet/anklet with wood and poly-clay beads. If you have materials (beads or finished pieces) you’d like to use, share, show-off, or trade bring them along! Bring your kids too!

Midwest Hoopfest: June 25-28, French Lick Indiana

Be there or be square! LOL!