A few days ago, I went to listen to a Japanese woman (her name is Umi) talk about her life in the Himalayas. She lives there in a family of shepherds, hand spinners and weavers.
We looked at pictures of where she lives. They were amazing and somehow made me time travel back to a time when I traveled to India and Nepal quite a bit.
She had a notebook in which she had written down “chapters” and she opened up a new picture folder to match each “chapter”. The chapters were spoken like stories. During the few hours we spent together, we were asked (there were about 8 of us?) to talk about how we felt after some of the chapters. One of the most interesting topic to me was when we were asked to talk about how we thought “handcrafts” might be connected to our DNA.
All of the participants having different backgrounds, experiences, we all had different things to say but all agreed that some things we did with our hands, touching the soil, taking care of the soil, plants, vegetables, cooking, spinning wool, sewing, washing clothes in a river etc… made us feel something “special”. Now I think about it, for me, doing the dishes is one of these things too!!! We talked about how some things might be implanted in our DNA and when we do these things, we get this feeling of “connectedness”, as though we were connecting to our DNA, or our instinct is it? I was wondering if it was really DNA… or what… to move our hands, to sew, knit, to be surrounded by beauty, to make the world around us beautiful, maybe it is just natural. We feel good when we feel like we are part of nature, or of a natural rhythm…? there is no conclusion to this and I don’t have some deep insight or beautiful words to express myself better than the ones above! but I just thought this was an interesting topic!
This morning, I also realized that, like Umi, I have moved far away from my home, and feel that my hands are the happiest when blue~ and when sewing cloth to be dyed (shibori) strange destiny. I always wonder how and why our senses bring us to far away places… how strange it is that I feel this connection the most when I am in Japan… the mysteries of life!