Falling Back Into Life
8/2 Bockens cotton (EC)
4th Paradisaea Collection
In order to tell the story of this warp and the theme for all the warps from it we need to start with a memory:
I don’t have a clear sense of the time because we don’t have a clock, but the colour of the light tells me it’s still quite early.
I wake up slowly, rise to the surface like a bubble rises in water.
The first thing I sense is the smell of warm, varnished wood. Then I realise what woke me up - it was the sound of water gently splashing to the side of the small clinker built boat. It’s a special sound that does not happen in carvel built boats with smooth sides. It’s like having tiny waves rapping on your door: knock knock knock, anybody home?
The husband is still breathing heavily. I don’t dare to wake him up. I crawl out of the sleeping bag, open the hatch and climb to the cockpit. The wind has grown a little - at midnight everything was absolutely still. Now the wind wanders past the tiny cove we are in, sending funny little waves towards us.
I blink in the bright morning sunshine. Terns are shrieking while they hunt for food to feed their little ones. There’s nobody else in sight - just us and the terns. I close my eyes and feel the gentle rocking of the boat. It’s like sitting in a huge cradle.
I get my towel and head to the shore: this is my favourite part of the morning.
I step down from the boat to the rock of the shore. My bare soles meet the warm, rough surface of the rock, spotted with bright yellow lichen. I walk to the little strip of sand next to our boat, sit down and bury my toes in the sand.
The feeling is immensely satisfying.
After a long winter and a hesitant spring we are finally back. We’re here, we managed to escape again, we got to return again. We’re here, in this small island that is our small secret. We’ve never seen anyone else here, maybe because the water is not deep enough for big boats. It’s like snuggling with the island, being held tight in the lap of the rock.
After a long winter being trapped in the town we’re finally back. After a long winter being trapped inside hard shoes my feet are finally free.
I enjoy it immensely - walking barefoot. It’s like adding a whole new language to your existence. You feel every rock, you sense the earth, you hear it whispering and communicating. Non-verbal communication based on touch. We learn to know each other again, me and the earth, and I think of our ancestors who used to do this all the time.
Humans were created to be naked and outdoors, they say. I love this nakedness of my feet, I love the great outdoors.
The sea is still a bit chilly as it always is in Finland. I dive in, let the salty water wash me. Then I climb back to the rocks and sit silently until the sun has rubbed me warm again. In the boat husband is still asleep, I get the camping stove and cook coffee. Terns, dark roast, the huge cradle, sun and the sea.
There are certain places, certain sensations, certain smells, certain sceneries, certain things that make your heart go BOOM. I’m struggling to find words to explain what I mean. Do you know the feeling when all of a sudden you know that you are… home? That something in your surroundings or in what you are feeling or what you are doing tells your soul that “this is what was meant to be”?
Life is a lot about longing. To long is to be a human being. We long for something bigger, larger, waster, higher, better, deeper, something we cannot maybe quite explain but that still haunts us. Life often feels like a too small shoe - you don’t quite fit in, and it hurts.
And then sometimes things just fall into their right places. You can breathe free. You know you are where you are supposed to be. Your feet are naked and free and they sense the warm rock and the cool sand. You relax, and the rest in those moments is more than just rest - it’s restoration. There are things and moments that restore us into what we were supposed to be.
The world is a broken system with a lot of sorrows. But I don’t think it was meant to be so. Sometimes you fall into a small fragment of the original paradise and you know that “this is good, this is who I am, this is what the world was meant to be”. Some things just resonate with who we are… Like a pure, clear note that makes your soul sing.
This is the question: If your soul was a bird, where would it nest?
Where do you go when you need to be restored? What brings you life? What makes you feel alive again?
To me it is the sea.
I married a sailor, fully knowing what I was doing. His soul is salt water, the rush of the wind, the flapping of the sails and the feel of warm wood under his hands. And his hands are carpenter’s hands. He loves to speak with timber, make it obey him, he loves to call out whatever hides inside wood and form it into something new. He is a wooden boat man trough and trough. Marrying him opened a whole new world for me - the world of small coves, rocky islands, seaside sunsets and open heavens over the sea.
Finland has a special archipelago, quite unlike anything else in the world. There are hundreds, no, thousands of small islands to discover. It’s a wild place; tiny rocks scattered all over the sea, full of promises. It’s a place of utter freedom.
The feeling of going barefoot in the islands has become a symbol of absolute freedom to me - a symbol of being where you were supposed to be, of visiting the paradise for a tiny moment. A symbol of really feeling what Life is about after a long numbness. Going barefoot you just feel so much more. Going barefoot is in many cultures also a symbol of respect and awe. You remove your shoes to show veneration. In many religions, it is common to remove shoes when entering a place considered holy. It’s close to what I feel by the sea. Bare feet symbolise also innocence and the radical freedom of childhood; the joy of exploring the world with the excitement of someone who sees it for the first time.
Everybody has their own experience of this. Where do you feel most alive?
In the forest? Under covers next to your loved one? With a baby asleep in your lap? Baby in your wrap? In the saddle, galloping trough the open fields? Basking in the sunshine? In the mountains? In the dancing hall? Where does your soul fly free?
I wanted to make a warp to celebrate those moments of falling back into Life. Those life-giving mental explosions that reminds us of what we are about. The warp speaks with colours I know from the sea; turquoise for the water, yellow for the sun and that certain kind of lichen that is everywhere, orange and salmon and purple for the setting sun, dark violet for the night sky in autumn, white for the foamy wave crests. There will be sparkles for late summer stars when they again are visible in Finland after the midnight sun has gone away.
I wish that this warp and the wraps from it might speak to others too of their desires and the BOOM-moments of their hearts.