let love in
Paradisaea # 49
The Love That Is Mine Collection
Warp: handpainted rose viscose
Weft: hand dyed pineapple/long staple cotton
416 cm with blunt ends
Woven with a 8 shaft fancy twill with crackle elements in a zig zag pattern
It’s ten years now,
from the first awkward messages
and him saying he dreams of sunlight on wooden floors too
and me saying I want to sail away with him.
Ten years, three towns, three children,
I don’t even know how many broken nights,
no idea how many changed diapers, how many tantrums
the kids in the wedding pictures
look so strange now; so… unknowledgeable, blissfully ignorant,
It’s been a rougher leg I could’ve imagined; higher waves, tougher winds,
I wonder if anything tests you like family life,
I wonder if anything
like trying to love
like trying to be loved.
They say you won’t know how awful you are until you get married.
Like they say anyone can fall in love, but to stay there -
you need to
really want to
sail that boat.
And still the boy next to me
has the same piercing look,
the same force field around him,
peeling me of all pretence,
and I’ve come to see that accepting it
is sometimes the hardest task -
it is one thing to love
but sometimes far harder
to really accept that someone loves you.
That when the meanest winds hit and you’re stripped of all your former glory,
lost to yourself and frightfully unable to offer what you used to,
beaten and exhausted
it may be awfully hard
one of the bravest things to do
is to let love in
to just let love in
to let it come on its own terms,
The first piece of The Love That Is Mine is woven with a cotton/pineapple weft, hand dyed with a rich grape violet.
The theme of The Love That Is Mine collection is love and concentrating on love. Weaving this piece I searched for a thought that could capture a piece of the greater theme. What would it mean to really concentrate on love? It's such a grand idea, but what does it actually mean?
One thought kept coming back to me; a thought about how there’s this side of love that takes massive courage - to really, with abandon, be loved.
It takes immense courage to really accept that you’re loved. To stop resisting. To stop arguing. To stop saying “yes but if you only knew me really” and just trust. To just let love come in.
To let it really, profoundly define you. To abandon your fears and worries and let love come in instead.
It’s just sometimes tricky to let someone else’s gaze define you. To trust when they say you’re good. Loved. To trust the good they say. The human mind sometimes has a habit of getting stuck, and some pains of the past may haunt it for a long time. It takes courage to give up all control in love, to stop micromanaging yourself, to stop trying to become “good enough” before you can let yourself be loved. To give up the self-improvement project and just let it go. To let love in.
I wanted to call this first piece of the warp with a name that would speak of this kind of abandon; of choosing to give in to love. Of trusting the lover more than yourself. To letting love wash over you. It’s not always easy to trust, and sometimes it may not be that simple. And the love in question doesn’t need to be romantic. Sometimes the most steadfast love is the not romantic kind - a friend, a child, a mother, father, grandparent. Someone who doesn’t waver.
I’m just thinking that if there’s any love like that in our lives, it’s a horrible waste to not just dive into it, to not just enter it fully,
to not take the risk of
letting that love define us.
I am hoping that this piece could be a reminder of that courage to someone.