The longer you do something, the more it becomes a part of you.  Ingrained in you so deeply that, when it comes time to think about it, you have difficulty thinking about it.  It would be like thinking about your left third toenail.

As a long time knitter, the lesson learned long ago that I needed to neither hold tightly to the needles nor to the yarn, that the tension of the yarn, when carried exactly right, would hold all in place.  This is a tough lesson to learn and its one that sends most new knitter running back to whence they came, and who can blame them?  No one likes aching hands or eye strain from forcing yourself to see the separate stitches that have been pulled like nooses after the drop and we shan’t even talk about the nearly bullet-proof fabric that is created when knitter is trying to hang on for dear life.

Life is like that too.  Without practise, it feels like you have to cling to whatever it is like a limpet…

But wait.

That is a faulty comparison.  A limpet clings strongly enough to its sheltering rock so that it can withstand the onslaught of crashing waves.  Any less and it would be ripped free and smashed; any more and it, the little snail that it is, wouldn’t have the strength to keep up its grasp for the full tidal cycle.

Spinning was hard for me at first because, by the very nature of what you are doing, you have to let go and let things slide by.

I’m not so good with that.

I enjoy control and to feel the fiber slipping away between my fingers and out of my grasp…a feeling that was scary in its own way.  However, I soon learned that if I tried to grasp too tightly the fiber wouldn’t move at all, only twist, and I would soon have rats nest of twisted wasted fiber.  Beautiful in its own way but totally useless.  On the reverse, I learned that if the fibers were just slipping wily-nilly then the strand would break because it would either get too thin or it wouldn’t get enough twist into it and separate.  Additionally even between sheep fibers are different:  Short staple (hair length) vs Long, Fine vs Coarse, Straight vs Crimpy…and that doesn’t even venture into different fiber types!  Wool, Alpaca, Silk, Milk Fiber, Bison, Cotton…all demand, yes, demand, a different handle to bring the most out of the fiber.  Spinning is not about “just letting go” at all.

My point…

My point is that…

I’m not quite sure anymore.

I thought that I was going to have a post about quietly hanging on becoming a part of you.

And maybe it is…maybe it isnt.

All this time I had been thinking that there were two courageous acts:

Letting Go

Holding On.

I am finally seeing that it takes courage to find that balance of cleaving.  More courage than I would have believed.

But maybe that’s why “cleave” is the perfect word for this struggle of finding the goldilocks handle on life.  “Cleave” is a verb and it means to stand by or stick together.  It also means to divide or split.

There is no possible way to have ingrained the act of cleaving because it is all dependent on the situation at hand.  Same with spinning.  What would be perfect for one fiber is completely wrong for another.

Do I hold fast?

Do I let go?

Yes.

And it take courage to figure out what is just right for just now.

Good Luck to you.

I know I need all the help I can get.

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