The Loom at Rest


I. The loom at rest is far different than the loom in motion.

In motion, maple does as wood intends, resigned to the force of a foot pushing down or the body's full weight making use of the bench.

Each pull on the beater drives the metal reed, wooden frame and cotton yarn to agree, quickly, before the shuttle takes flight and another weft awaits its turn.

Steel pegs kiss wooden levers and harnesses rise with a swoosh of assurance that work is advancing. There is sound and sway, all of it in harmony as the machine and the body come close to resembling one other in the way that a cellist and her cello share one body while in song.




II.  At rest, the loom first appears onerous, a series of suspended moments loosely related by a warren of springs and cables. 

Looking longer, a logic emerges as we follow the warp.

Lines in parallel agreement span time between their origin at the barrel shaped beam and the mathematics of order that awaits them in the heddles.

Reflected just below is a possible future, a cloth version of what they might become once joined by the weft.


III.  I often rest alongside the loom, inside the frame and seated at the bench. There, we take our quiet together.

Sometimes, I unhook the treadles from their diagonal flight and lay them gently on the floor. My feet brush lightly over them in a sort of dance as if to soothe what is primarily a relationship of force.

In stillness, the loom becomes a room to inhabit as I am within it but no longer of it. 

Ours is an intimacy that I alone conjure, fed as much by looking as by weaving.


More Context: A list of relevant sources and inspiration

Returning to this as I reconsider photography. 

Which leads to reading more Sontag

This instagram feed. A man looking at the 'same' tree who understands what it means to actually see the tree.

Humbly learning to use this camera




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