After forty days and forty nights of clouds and snow, we finally had sunshine this past weekend. I was in the gloom of the lower level where my temporary studio is housed, under the ‘grow light’, weaving, when I heard Jim yell for me; “Suze, the sun is out!’
Like those possessed, the two of us donned snow boots, down vests, hats, scarves and mittens, and ventured out on to the tundra. Granted the wind was howling at thirty miles an hour and it was 11 degrees, but the sun was out, for God’s sake! We stood there, positioned like Egyptian sun worshiping sphinx’, eyes wide open so the rays could penetrate the pineal gland in the brain, (we both read too much on the internet), arms stretched out to balance against the wind, taking in as much of the sun as we could stand in the freezing cold. All four dogs were watching us through the living room window, from the warmth of the house. They can’t stand the cold, either. We have to lock Jeni’s dog, Nickie, out for at least ten minutes every two hours or the inevitable will happen. She doesn’t like her feet to get cold….
We did leave the house for a short time on Sunday. I have found that I am not willing to drive on the ice. I know I must have for years; it was cold in New Jersey and I worked. But this ice is different. These country roads! I guess there are too many of them that aren’t traveled enough to bother clearing. So Jim and I run errands together. We talked a little about what has changed; I think it is so clear that I have really aged this year. I look good, (Fernando Lamas; It is better to look good than to feel good), but I feel like a little old lady. It doesn’t seem worth the risk to leave the house if I am going to fall or get in a wreck. I’m even nervous about walking out to the barn. Jim goes with me, holding my hand to aid in my safety, or fall with me if I drop.
Staying in has its benefits. For one thing, my creative spirit is in full force. I seem to be hearing in color, as well. Music, the sounds of the area, the birds, the wind, the lake, all contribute to a renewed imagination. My color sense is hightened. For instance, the moment in the sun produced the most vivid vision. For a fleeting second, just long enough for memory to kick in, a dream ocean appeared, smooth as glass, with a brilliant sun shining on it, the light beams hitting the water with weight, the dappling concentric circles radiating out from the beams. Surprisingly, the colors emanating from the vision were not golden, as I thought they should be, but red and turquoise, iridescent, as colors opposing on the color wheel can be.
I asked Jim if we could go to the barn for a second; I wanted to get some yarn while the vision was fresh. My weaving yarn is organized in boxes stacked ten feet high. I point to what I want to rummage through and Jim opens the boxes with his handy box cutter. I get what I want or dismiss it, and he reseals it with packing tape, protecting the precious contents from critters looking for a soft bed. I remembered where the yarn was that I wanted; cherry red cotton silk blend boucle, and a teal green rayon ratine. I couldn’t wait to get back in the house and wind the warp.
The yarns are exactly what I wanted. I am winding them together and they are as I guessed; iridescent, even just laying together on the warping board. I can’t wait to dress the loom and start weaving.
However, weaving means descending to my subterranean weaving studio, dependant on Jim to tell me when the elusive sun reappears. We are finding that being this close to the lake means having more clouds in the winter. All I have to do if I really need the sun is drive ten miles northwest to Holland, a really lovely place, but so much like Cherry Hill that I forget where I am when I go there.
The wide spectrum light is helpful for sunlight deprivation weirdness. I use it at my loom, which is really great for avoiding threading errors, choosing colors, etc. But no good for stirring the imagination. I need the real thing for that.