Things have been crazy lately – meetings, working (yes, working), historical society stuff, goats, dogs, house, garden, blah, blah, blah. I got a message that Lenny was going to be working on the looms with a couple of mechanically minded guys. The timing was poor but I made it work and was oh so happy that I did.
Any opportunity to spend time with Lenny and the looms is something to be cherished in my opinion. It’s the closest I can get to my grandfather who’s been gone since 1976. Lenny is a slight, flirty little man in his 90’s who loves, loves, loves the Crompton & Knowles W3 power looms. They have been his life. The look of delight on his face when he is running one is magical to me.
This event (and it is one to me) also afforded me the opportunity to spend time not only with Peggy but two men who had as high an interest in these machines as I do. One is a machinist, the other runs the vintage cards at a spinnery in VT.
Mechanical ability is an art in itself and I soaked in that energy like a very dry sponge. It wasn’t until I looked at the photos/videos that I really began to see mechanics as artists. The enthusiasm in the room was palpable. The beauty of this machinery is with a little study they are understandable and magical to watch. Lenny knows them like they are a part of his being, the others were meeting them for the second time. They’d already spent time with Lenny and the looms, walked away and had to return – the machine’s magic is seeping into their souls (insert an evil laugh here). When one of them told me they could watch them run all day I knew he was hooked. The other, while trying to rig a part that would work said, “I look at the part and think ‘how can I make this better'”. No sweeter words. . .
Now it has been a while since I’ve had that experience. It’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog post. Peggy brought it all together, fiber, weaving, machinery. Yesterday was a nourishing experience and I realize that being around fellow creatives feeds me. I slept well, I woke up calmer, I feel the need to sit at the loom and make something. I realize how important it is to find what does that for me and to fit that into my life. Everyone should do just one thing that makes them extraordinarily happy, or causes their minds to stretch in the effort to learn and understand something. A workout for your brain. It makes everything else just a little bit easier.