I thought this would be about knitting. But it isn’t. I thought it would be about potential. Realizing potential both individually and collectively. But it isn’t. Thus have I struggled these past days to talk about the warp and woof of communication. As we know Warp and Woof is used as a metaphor for the underlying structure on which something is built. A relationship. A family. Society. A monastery. An interest group. An individuals life. Warp and weft are the vertical and horizontal threads woven together to make fabric. Cloth or fabric, used metaphorically, have a similar meaning to warp and woof. The fabric of her life as a working mother, for example. The weaving together, the warp and woof of her life. I love the image invoked here. A drawing together in a dynamic way. These metaphors are used to indicate something whole and positive. Knitted together, not tied down! Perhaps this post is about knitting after all!
Here below is a quote from a blog post titled Potential on Warpandwoofknitting. At first one might think this is a knitting blog and indeed knitting features in many posts. However the warp and woof, the underlying fabric of the blog is something much bigger, broader and foundational. If I were to name the cloth it would be Love, Compassion, Humour and Humility.
The yarn pictured below (in this blog post) is a wool/silk blend I spun up. It has lots of shine and beauty on it’s own, and took up space on my coffee table for quite a while just because I loved to look at it. Eventually though, it needed to be worked up into something useful and became this hat, and another with some little gloves for Mom. So pretty! It is kind of stretching the metaphor to go too far with this, but midlife is kind of feeling this way lately. Full of potential.
Anybody who knits knows it isn’t only about making a piece of cloth which can be worn, draped and otherwise enjoyed by oneself or by others. The knitting itself brings about something foundational to ones being. Feeds the spirit somebody wrote me recently. A drawing together in a dynamic way. Positive. Nourishing.
Mention the warp and woof, or the foundational fabric, of our human interactions, communication, and the response would most likely be a grimace or a groan I suspect. Not always of course. Our common experience of human interactions, communication, more often than not doesn’t bring to mind nourishment, or nurturing the spirit, nor a drawing together in a dynamic way. And as I write that I’m reminded of how expression through the arts, both high and everything else do have the effect of nourishing and drawing together.
So perhaps I’m thinking of the utilitarian communications we use every day, getting business done. Getting ones point across. Expressing a view. Selling or buying – anything. Negotiating, persuading, manipulating. Verbal and written expression between us humans can be an emotional mine field can’t it! Wars are won or lost on words. Reputations ruined by words or more like the warp and woof behind them. What is the foundational fabric of our human interactions?
What is it that can transform a mine field into a beautiful garden? Is that even possible where competing needs and wants drive people into corners rather than weave together as a cloth? The best of gardens have an integrity, you enter into a garden. There is diversity of colour, texture, height. There are arresting features, a fountain, a statue. There is the compost area and the less than sightly behind-the-fence areas as well.
Leave a mine field not maimed for life, one is relieved to have left. To say the least. Leave a beautiful garden and some of it comes with you. As would a perfume.
In terms of human interactions keeping true to the Precepts, nurturing Love, Compassion, Wisdom and Humility goes a long way towards leaving ones room or computer or table – encouraged. As with midlife so too with human interactions, they hold great potential – for the good.
Happy knitting people! And if you have a sense of humour, knit and have hours and hours free, read Whodonnknit. Life will never be the same again!
2 thoughts on “The Warp And Woof Of Communication”
Hi Rev. Mugo;
Grant thought I had dropped something on my foot this morning, I let out a squack when I read your blog, which I do almost every day. You “get” me! And that is a real gift in this life.
I’ve used this weaving idea before myself. I recall describing my relationship with my partner (of almost twenty years now) as having woven three cloths – his, mine and ours, each ‘cloth’ representing a self, a life, not separate but interdependent. Funny business this life weaving.
My mother, before her rheumatoid arthritis and other health issues made knitting impossible, would knit all sorts of stuff whilst watching TV and doing countless other things at substantially the same time!