Reflections on a Vocational Happenstance
"We live in a web of ideas, a fabric of our own making." - Joseph Chilton Pearce
I dislike reading fiction and poetry (especially poetry) in translation. I do it, for obvious reasons, but all the while I am aware of not receiving all that the author intended to convey.
This quote I am using today, attributed to Joseph Chilton Pearce, contains two words that would give a good translator pause: web and fabric. Both are juicy, poetic nouns with multiple meanings.
The image I chose to pair with the quote shows my interpretation, but since the words were out of context when I found them and I don't know much about Pearce's belief system, I cannot be sure if I am receiving (and now resending) the message accurately -- and this is with both of us having English as our first language.
Merriam-Webster's simple definition of fabric is as follows:
1. woven or knitted material
2. the basic structure of something
With these two meanings, it is easy to understand why 'fabric' is poetic while 'material' is not.
I am going to leave you to ponder Pearce's meaning on your own -to consider what web of ideas you are using to weave the fabric of your life -and come to the point I meant to discuss when I first sat down here to write:
Knitting is the making of fabric.
This might seem to you an obvious statement, but only fairly recently, after many years of knitting, did I realize that what I have been doing all this time is creating fabric.
Previously I thought about the process in terms of making objects - a sweater, a scarf, a sock, a hat. I chose yarn, followed a pattern, and manufactured something warm.
Then one day at a craft fair a browser by said to me, fingering a little dress I had made, "I love this fabric." I did, too, love that fabric; it had been a joy to create.
The dress would have been cute made from another yarn, but the fabric I had manufactured was an especially good match for the pattern, and the result was an above average garment that stood out from the others on my table.
After the woman walked away I kept thinking about her smile as she spoke, and her gentle hands.
Suddenly I envisioned yards of that fabric on a bolt, waiting to be cut out and sewn. I saw that woman selecting it from many other bolts, handing it to me and asking, "Will you make me something from this?"