Finally, life is calming down and my brain seems to be returning from it's stuporous, exhausted fog. How lucky it was to find this morning, that my bloglines showed my pal Birdsong had updated with another thought-provoking essay, this time on spinning as "the new yoga!" Well, perhaps that's not where she was going and it certainly isn't a direct quote (she says she missed the "knitting is the new yoga" bandwagon), but my dear friend did provide a few reasons as to just why, now, she's decided to try her hand again at spinning (spindling?), and why it looks as if she's going to continue with it. Her last reason, specifically, gave me pause...
"There are great wooden spindles...and there is the challenge of learning the steps...to be successful in using them. This keeps my mind alert and ever-learning, and keeps me from aging!"
Hmm....that last sentence: Keeps her mind alert, keeps her from aging - ALWAYS an important issue for me, especially when I also endure the brain-fog of fibromyalgia and SLE.
But spinning? I think I'd love it, and I envy my friends who use both spindles and wheels. I can imagine the hypnotic pull of a spindle in my hands, the soothing whir of the wheel. But in my case, this is an activity I'll have to forego, and it's not just the time involved, or the issue of painful joints holding heavy objects or treddling a wheel, it's also the cost.
I'm always trying to find room in the budget to buy the lovely yarns I'd like to use, and I don't think there's a spare penny for roving, or spindles, or a wheel. There's certainly no room in my apartment for a wheel.
And fortunately, there are a lot of activities that help keep the mind sharp. I think knitting lace qualifies. And lace is certainly my addiction, no question about that. Birdsong says she used to feel that spinning took too much time from her knitting, and since I seldom have the chance to complete even one lace shawl, I still feel that way. I don't want to add another activity - no matter what it is - that will take away from that.
Thankfully, for me, knitting IS my yoga, my meditation, my method for centering myself. Knitting is my dharma, my Way, the Path I follow.
The fiber way offers so many options for finding our niche, for satisfying the need for peace in our lives. Whether you spin, knit, crochet, sew, quilt, or any combination of the many options available, I don't really think it matters.
The brain is challenged to quiet itself as we center on the fiber craft of our choice. We become one with the needles, hooks, and spindles, our eyes focussed on the single stitch or each twist and turn, our breathing slows and deepens unconsiously, the heart rate calms, and time falls away.