Monday, June 16, 2014

Inspiration Mondays: Shoshana's Tapestry

"...paint which derives from chemicals is inert, and a painting when completed is fixed in time; whereas with wool, which comes from a living animal, there continues to be movement and change, as with life itself." --Shoshana Comet
My last blogpost was about how I've recently begun to see the world as a potential yarn project... "painting with wool." I find it a fortunate coincidence that I stumbled upon this post today about a woman who worked through the trauma of being a Holocaust survivor through her weaving. When I finished reading it, however, I felt that there was something more about her story that went beyond the stories I'd heard in the past about people using art as therapy.

Shoshana said, "The biggest challenge everyone faces is how we handle trauma, for everyone suffers trauma in one form or another. And the advice we are usually given is ‘to put it behind us and move on.’” And I think that's what we want a lot of our de-stressing activities to do for us: distract us from the chaotic turmoil that might be churning in our minds, to somehow lull us into relaxation by making us forget.

But it's hard to forget things that hurt us, isn't it?

I often find myself musing fiercely about something that made me angry while I knit. The process doesn't distract me at all. More so, it causes me to focus on something I don't necessarily want to think about... but in the end, it is a necessary process. I can not work through something unless I find the time to face it. I can not simply "put it behind me and move on." And this article made me realize that with more clarity than I'd ever realized before.

I am not claiming that doing a bit of knitting and weaving is the cure for all of the trauma someone has faced in the world. I just know that I am inspired by a person who was able to articulate what her art did for her, even if she did not continue to do it all her life. I think I might spend some time thinking more about what my art does for me. I've always known it is more than pretty shawls and garments. What more does it hold for me?

“War.” Tapestry by Shoshana Comet. Credit: Ted Comet. All rights reserved.
“War.” Tapestry by Shoshana Comet. Credit: Ted Comet. All rights reserved.

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