Penelope's visits

One of the benefits of working on a project this large is enjoying the people who come to visit while I am weaving. They sit with me in November’s parsimonious sun, the sounds of roosters crowing mixed in with their conversation. Some school children will visit during recess and make precious and insightful comments.

More common are the hours that I am by myself with my own thoughts for company. It is here in the rhythm of weaving raw wool that my mind wanders between the internal contemplation of solutions to world’s problems and the simple awe of geese migrating overhead.

Somewhere in the middle of these two extremes is when I receive a special visitor; Homer’s tragic character, and Odysseus’ faithful wife Penelope, will sit with me as I weave, quietly at first. But soon my mind fills with questions. What was Homer trying to say through you? You have diligence of process with no concern for the outcome. Where does your hope and that ever- elusive patience come from? As an artist who unweaves her work every night you must be tired. The very image of you is both filled with energy and entropy. The building up and the tearing down, all for the result you are so sure of.

I realize I am asking myself these questions. When I look across my work that the wind and rain are disassembling I am torn between reweaving the wool or allowing the environmental deconstruction. It challenges me. It both visually fills me with energy and tires me when I think of the ephemeral nature of my work.

Perhaps it is Penelope under the darkness of night unweaving my hard work of the day. Perhaps she is teaching me faithfulness of my art, faithfulness to process and then ultimately faithfulness to life, for this is my life’s work.