Enthralled

Paradisaea n:o 26, The Miracle -collection
Warp: hand painted lyocell (tencel)
Weft: hand dyed superwash merino wool
ca. 337 cm x 72 cm STIH
ca. 395 g/m2
Plainweave selvedges
Woven with a 6 shaft fancy twill with crackle elements
Blunt ends

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"enthral"
ɪnˈθrɔːl,ɛnˈθrɔːl/

verb
past tense: enthralled; past participle: enthralled

1. capture the fascinated attention of someone
"she had been so enthralled by the adventure that she had hardly noticed the cold"

It took me a long time to find a name for this one.

What would be the right word? Is there a word that would capture the full scope of the feeling?

There’s excitement there. But it’s more than excitement. It’s about being interested, but so much more than just mere passing curiosity. It’s about happiness, but it should be a profound kind of happiness, not just a fleeting happy feeling. There might be also a small amount of fear there, or something very serious anyway, something that stops you in your tracks. Something that kind of flips your world around. Good, and frightening. Like the best things in life always are; the most real ones.

Browsing trough a dictionary I came across one word that finally sounded right. To be “enthralled”. To be so captivated by something that you simply forget everything else. To be so fascinated by something that you simply fall into it, headfirst, and do not want to get out. It’s good. But more than that. It’s like accidentally discovering something awe-inspiring and amazing and real and holy and understanding that this is the most real thing you’ve ever seen.

The feeling I was trying to capture is the one I spoke of already before - the one when you baby kicks you for the first time, or when you feel it for the first time. The moment you realize there actually is someone in there. A person, a living human being, someone who desperately needs you, someone to whom your love is the most important, most vital thing in the world.

Guaranteed, it may cause a whole variety of feelings. Panic, even. To realize you really are in for it and someone relies so fully on you easily makes you feel out of breath, or out of your depth. How does one take care of a baby in the first place…?! All the feelings are legitimate, all of them are necessary. It’s maybe good to panic a bit, to realize the seriousness of the situation.

And then again, there might be a sudden rush of something else. Something far better. Better than any words there are.
I remember walking out of the gynaecologist’s when I had found out I’m pregnant for the first time. Dazed, amazed, surprised. I walked in the city centre, rarely remembering to wait for the green light. Everything simply centered on the small thing inside of me, and the rest of the universe seemed to fade to the background. That first small human didn’t finally arrive to our family, but the feeling left a strong memory. When our firstborn then finally kicked me for the first time I sat on the sofa with the same dazed feeling, forgetting the room around me, listening to my belly with an intentionality that was quite foreign to me. I remember poking my stomach gently to make him kick again. He did! I felt like I had established a connection with something amazing, unknown, and miraculous.

It’s the look on the faces of pregnant women. They might stop on their tracks in the middle of the pavement or fall silent mid-sentence, and their eyes start to wander and you see they’ve turned inward, listening intensively. Someone’s speaking to them from the inside. Someone small desperately in need of love is communicating trough small kicks and punches, someone so small it’s almost impossible to grasp, someone fragile and wonderful and unique and very present.

I remember thinking that it’s almost a pity that they are born. (Well, not really, but in a way.) I felt strongly that after they are born I will never hold them as close as before, and I cannot keep them as safe as before. It’s good that they are born - my body would eventually be the most dangerous place for a growing baby - but the feeling was real. You start to miss the kicks maybe as soon as they’re born. It’s a bittersweet journey, but such a beautiful one: motherhood is about letting them grow and go. What we are left with is this love the size of a universe; something too big to fit into us, something so large that it makes us stretch and hurts us and makes us long for more.

Enthralled.

Being enthralled by the first kicks. By the mass of new emotion. By love. By the newborn baby. By the growing toddler. By the fierceness of character of the growing child. By the young man or young woman growing up. By the person our bodies have created. The one we’ve tried to love as best as we can.

The burning pink weft was the best colour I could think of for this feeling. As intense as possible; fierce.