Monday, December 31, 2012

Thoughts for a New Year

As editor of my weaving guild's newsletter, I write a letter every month to our members. Several members have suggested I share January's letter here. For those of you who are not weavers or spinners, remember that you 'make music' in your own special way.

Dear Weavers and Spinners,

"It was a year of storms, of raging winds and rising water, but also broader turbulence that strained our moorings." So read Wednesday's paper in an article recapping the top ten news stories of 2012. Most recent, and certainly most raw, is the incomprehensible horror in Connecticut that shattered our hearts earlier this month. Two weeks later officials in Newtown have asked people to stop sending gifts to the town, saying they're deeply grateful but unable to process the overwhelming volume of items.

I understand the response of those who have sent something to the residents of Newtown, and I'm heartened by their care and concern. In the face of immeasurable tragedy, our hearts aching, our minds straining for answers to the unfathomable, we feel helpless to turn the tide of grief that we know threatens to overwhelm those directly involved. How can we help? Is there anything we can do that will truly matter? Our love and our prayers are meaningful, enduring gifts, and yet, we long for tangible offerings.

One answer, an antidote for our sorrow and sense of helplessness, came in the days following the shooting. Someone posted, on Facebook, this quote by American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, champion of peace and humanity; “Let this be our reaction to violence — to make music more intensely, more beautifully and more devotedly than ever before.”  As that concept resonated within me, I realized that, as weavers and spinners, our looms and wheels are our instruments; we make music with thread. The harmonies, the melodies, and compositions we weave and spin are joy to create and share with our families, our friends, and our community. Let us resolve to tip the balance between despair and hope by "intensely and devotedly" making handwoven music …and sharing it with our world.

May you find peace in creating. May your creations be songs of love. May your special music uplift and encourage those you share it with. And, as you ply your craft, "…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

Sarah H. Jackson, editor

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