Anni Albers and finding your tribe
Thanks to my wonderful, probably the best, weave supply tutor, my merry band of weavers caught the train from Devon and visited the Anni Albers exhibition in January. What a fabulous day! First we had the treat of a lecture that helped us to understand her work, inspiration and influence. Then we had two hours in the exhibition and like excited children, we were walking from room to room – “Oh look! Have you seen this? How did she do that?” and “I just want to see the back!”, “So is that really just yellow, black and white?”. Such was our enthusiasm that other visitors got caught up in our discussions. And I feel I ought to publicly apologise to the Tate for setting off the alarms so often – we just really wanted to see the detail. (And I include myself in that too.) And yet I could have so easily missed the exhibition.
As the mum of a now 15 month old I was surprised how my confidence has been knocked. I felt completely out of my depth on the underground and was grateful the shepherding of our more London savvy weavers. Yet it was only a couple of years ago that I would have happily made such a trip on my own.
I make no secret of the fact that 2018 threw everything at me. New life, death, health, work, you name it I had to deal with it. So it’s no surprise that 2019 sees me more than a little battered and bruised.
But I’m still standing. I’m working on strategies to help me cope with this new life. This new phase of working mum life has it’s challenges. I’m writing this while reading to a toddler – no mean feat I can tell you!
What I has been underlined for me has been the power of finding your tribe. The exhibition was so much more enjoyable and fun to share with other weavers, to be able to discuss techniques and design. The chat on the train home had such a buzz to it. It reminded me of the joy of teaching such a group of weavers. I offer a 10 week course of weaving, 3 times a year and I have quite a waiting list – thank you so much for your patience if you’re still waiting. It seems that once the basics of weaving have been mastered people keep re-enrolling to learn more and more details about the craft. This is not only testament to the joy of weaving, but also to the importance of finding a little time for yourself. More than once I’ve heard a sigh and “I’ve made it” to my question of “How are you?”. I’m not sure if it’s just women that experience such demands on their time, but the weaving group has helped people through ill health, downsizing houses, ailing parents, childcare, work demands and challenging relationships. Having 2 or 3 hours a week for yourself, among like minded individuals becomes so precious.
Likewise, I also have been so grateful to my new mum friends too. It has meant so much to be able to share the lack of sleep, first solid foods, crawling, walking and teething. The power of a groan or a grin and a “me too!” Now our maternity leave have finished, it’s more difficult to find time to get together. When we do, as mums of toddlers, conversations are often disjointed because one of us is having to deal with an escape artist or a little one in meltdown. But those times are just as precious, just to know you’re not alone in struggling to change a nappy on a moving target!
Too often life moves just too fast for us to treasure moments with our ‘tribe’ or even recognise a kindred spirit, but in this new mum life I want to try and slow down a bit and enjoy the moments and the company.