Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Process or Product?

As I was pulling in a fighting-back trout from the lake this past weekend, I found myself thinking that I wished he had waited a bit to bite on my line. He bit on my first cast! 'What a silly thought,' I told myself. 'Why go fishing, if not to catch fish?' So I started thinking about all I do, and whether it is the process I do it for, or the product.

Fishing: definitely process. Sometimes I don't even bother to put bait on the line. I just love being at the mountain lake; smelling and feeling the moist air, relaxing on or near the water, and occasionally doing battle with a fish, which I may or may not keep. (I released this weekend's catch.)

What do I do for the product? Cook, definitely, though I occasionally bake cookies or bread for the process, as well. Clean: product. Exercise: again definitely product (health), as I hate the process!

And what do I do, besides fishing, for the pure joy of the process? Practice my guitar, and any other form of music.

Most other things I do both for the enjoyment (process) and for the result (product.) When I garden, I begin it for the product, but I always enjoy the process, once I am out there (unless it is HOT.) My knitting, sketching, and both painting and weaving fall into this mixed-blessing category. I believe I began doing each of those things for enjoyment only, but began having expectations of the product as well, as I became more proficient in each of those activities. Sometimes I think that is a shame; that we come to have expectations of 'product' while doing things we love to do. But I do also enjoy feeling the task has been 'worth it' in terms of creating something I like, as well as in the enjoyment of the time I have spent doing it.

I do hope I don't ever have huge expectations of my fishing time or my music, though. I know people who do feel a day fishing is a waste if supper is not hauled in, but I have no expectation of being one of those people. And I am quite happy playing guitar and singing to myself, whether I sound 'good' or not.

This week I am getting pieces off to exhibits, weaving cows, and doing some sketches from our recent family reunion. I sketched each of my four grandchildren, and, while I enjoyed the process of doing each sketch, I was most happy with the product on this one, of my 7-year old grand-daughter.

Friday, June 10, 2011


For the past few weeks I have traveled, I have had many guests, and I have been sick. Lots of LIFE has happened. Lots of weaving has not happened. In fact, I covered my tapestry in progress with a cloth, to protect it from the dust/wind storms we have been having. It has seemed that Utah is trying to blow it's plentiful overstock of dust over the state line to us, and I would just like to point out to them that we do have plenty of the stuff of our own! After two weeks of house guests and a week of illness, compounded by several days of 50-60 mph winds containing gritty Utah dust, my house looks like Miss Havisham lives here (complete with dead flowers in the vases that I have not had the energy to replace.) But my tapestry has remained blissfully unaware and dust-free, resting in it's dark retreat from all the wild activity, dust, and illness.

Today I will de-veil her. I will wake her up. I will actually weave! I have a few weeks ahead of me before I pack bags and head off for a family reunion of my side of the family. (The one here last weekend was my husband's family, and it included all of our grandchildren! Great joy! And chaos. And lots of food...) In that few weeks, I hope to accomplish a great deal. Weaving this tapestry is Number One on my Get-It-Done-List, as I'd like to begin the Nativity tapestries as soon as I can. So, Number Two on The List is to order yarns for those pieces. And right up at the top, I also have some much needed marketing planning that I will disclose as it takes place.

But for today, as I rehydrate myself and shuffle through the dust in the rest of the house, I will be content to sit at the loom and reacquaint myself with this weaving I have begun.