Enter the world of living randomly.
Wow! what a challenge!
For most of us, our lives are dictated by routines and expectations if not from birth, then from the age of toilet training. These routines and structures keep us happy in our ‘safety zone’ and without them we can feel lost at sea. I recently took on the challenge of weaving a basket using random weaving and as weaving tends to do, it provided me with insights that I’d like to share with you.
You see, weaving is usually a very ordered craft. The warp and weft of the weave on a loom provides a solid framework for the weave to be created; as does the concept of the coiled core in a coiled basket.
The order of our lives is framed by goals, timelines, values and expectations; ours and those of others. These warps and wefts entrap the flow of life and restrict our ability to stretch ourselves to our full potential.
Frameworks hold us or bind us.
Looking back to my life as a young mother, studying and working full time, I now wonder how I managed to do it all. In recent years, with children now adults with their own families, study a matter of relaxed entertainment and finished with working for income I have to say I have struggled to find my way. Like many others when they ‘retire’ from the demand of these frameworks, I found there was a great sense of loss where I had thought there would be freedom. It has taken me a long time to remember what it was that I always wanted to do; to find out where my talents lay and then to be able to put them into practice.
I walk the bike track and observe the plants in my garden and collect fibre. There is so much that is unknown to me. I collect and prepare, become overwhelmed. I choose a fibre and strip and soak it. I take a risk. I tell myself that whatever eventuates will be so worth it for the journey of becoming familiar; with the fibre, with myself. I start with what I know best and then I decide to random weave a basket.
With diminishing responsibilities and frameworks demolished, a first reaction might be to create routines; to join an organisation, take on a community role, create a goal to write a book. In this way, one replaces the frameworks with new ones, and this suits many as they feel useful, know what is expected of them and having a clear role gives them a good sense of purpose and sense of self. I went down this road but the Universe keeps showing me that there is a different way that is created through my moment to moment awareness of self that comes from within. There is no right or wrong. Just what is right for you, and you can try some randomness within your way of being.
The trick in life is to ensure that the framework you have is one that serves you and allows you to operate creatively within it; to be able to move around and be yourself.
I wove a circle for the rim, and placing a bowl in the centre I began to weave from one side to the other around the bowl. Then I removed the bowl and now the random weaving began; adding more and more lengths of fibre (native grass in this case).
Weaving and Life
I felt a need to do something different so I chose some lomandra and began to weave this into the basket. Using the whole width of the grass was limiting so I split it and used narrow fibres that allowed me to twist and turn as I chose.
The framework held my ideas and thoughts and creativity and allowed me to flow in the way that life is meant to be. I may say ‘without restrictions’, but in life I choose to hold certain values and ways of being that are important and necessary for me.
As I wove, I had awareness of the fibres I was crossing and passed under, over or around depending upon how they lay.
We live in a community and I believe that it is important to respect others; their ways, beliefs and how they are and allow.
Completion in life is important. Unfinished business will remain incomplete and cause disruption until it is resolved.
As I wove, I found that sometimes the fibre would follow the line of other fibres – or sometimes it would fold and turn a right angle or a u-turn.
Sometimes we walk with others and learn from each other or simply enjoy the joy between us. Other times, we need to do an about turn and find something new; embrace change.
As I wove, the fibre would tell me where it would be best placed, or how it wanted to fill a space or a colour to be added. Sometimes a shape spoke to me and it needed to be filled with colour or another texture.
Awareness of all that is around us; the materials we use, the uniqueness of the people who surround us, allows us to value these things and create to our full potential. To fill a space with loving kindness. To acknowledge gifts and talents of others and of self. To feel free to experiment and allow without restrictions.
Randomness isn’t only about being ‘random’. We still need to have some framework but we can be creative about it. The framework needs to be chosen rather than imposed so that it fits us perfectly. The framework needs to be flexible so that it can be changed; modified or replaced, as life itself changes from moment to moment. Randomness is about accepting and trying out and discovering the outcome and in doing so allowing our full potential to blossom.