Paradisaea # 10 // The Falling Back Into Life Collection
99,9 % cotton (EC), 0,1 % polyester (glitter ends)
Woven with a two-sided twill and plainweave combination, "The Pearls"
Size 4 + (4,1 m)
The sand is still warm, rustling gently when it falls from my toes and hits the wood. Salt in my fingers, light in my eyes.
You sit watching the sun as it sinks into the sea. I haven’t really seen it like that before, filling the whole horizon.
“What’s the most beautiful manmade thing you have ever seen?”, you ask me.
I think long and hard but can’t really say.
“Yeah”, you say, “they don't really compare, do they?"
Earlier on the same day we walked all the way to the sandbank. The whole island is made of smooth sand, extending underwater as a long reef on one end. The sun was shining, relentless, as we sat in the sand, sifting sandgrains through our fingers. The most beautiful ones we collected to our pockets, little rainbow-coloured jewels of the sea.
You talked to me about love. I’ve only known you for some months but I’ve already learned that to love you is to love the sea. These islands are an inseparable part of you, and I don’t object.
One morning we wake up in a white world. Everything is covered in a thick white mist, and we see hardly anything. If we had thrown a rock into the mist we would not have seen it hit the water. You are good with maps and I learn to trust your navigation. There is absolutely no wind and the water is perfectly calm when we set off. Sun has risen to the sky and is shining somewhere behind the mist, making all the fog shine. Cream and gold. There are white feathers everywhere, floating in the water. Everything is silent, only the sea breathes slowly beneath the boat. If there were fairytales, I think to myself, they would look exactly like this.
And then there’s the evening near Kökar when you decide to carry an armchair up a hill - the one we bought from a flea market in the harbour. We sit in the wind, watching the sunset, until the night crawls onto the sky. The whole scope of the sky is visible, the whole dome lit with evening light. The gradation from day to night is perfect, colours blending together so well you cannot tell when they change into each other. Cottongrass in the ground is as white as the rising moon.
One of the nights we wake up in the middle of the night to see the stars. We climb a hill in the pitch darkness under a new moon and lay on the ground, watching the endless starry sky. You teach me how to spot The Cassiopeia and show me that there is a Swan in the middle of the northern summer sky.
Days become weeks and I slowly lose all my bulwarks. No showers, no mirrors, no shoes, no pretension. We have less than five square meters and no roof, just a light bimini top in the boat, and that is enough. Sometimes I watch you when you are sleeping and I wonder when did it happen, but I cannot tell - I have been tied to you, and I don’t object.
I have no possibility to build a presentable version of myself here. I become raw and unpolished, more real than I would have wanted, ‘cause it’s scary. My hair a salty mess, my skin burned in the sun, my clothes always wrinkled, my mind frightfully visible.
And without a warning
you see me.
We don’t often visit harbours. You seek your own coves. We climb the rocky shores and sometimes I fall into the sea, but your laughter is soft. I haven’t yet learned that the seaweed just in the waterline is really slippery. You pick me up and at the time I don’t yet know that it will be the story of our life.
Without a warning
you see me.
Half a year later you give me a ring with one of the sandgrains from the island. I think to myself that it is the most beautiful manmade thing I have ever seen.
What do you need in order to really feel alive?
What do you need to be able to really rest?
If your soul was a bird, where would it nest?
These are the questions I had in mind when I designed the Falling Back Into Life warp. What does it mean to be deeply, intensively alive?
There are as many answers as there are people. We are all different and our hearts yearn for different things - we all have our own heart languages. And then again maybe some things are common to us. I wanted to search for those common experiences, to weave something of them into fabric.
Staffasharu is the first wrap of Falling Back Into Life. I wanted to weave something for our family, something that would stay in the house. Therefore I spent some time asking myself those same questions. What is Life? One answer rose higher than others. This is what I wrote down:
In order to really rest and feel alive you need to know you are loved - unconditionally, thoroughly. You need to know you are safe, that there is someone that will always have your back, no matter what.
And so I was thinking about love when I wove this first piece.
In our story it seems that love and the sea go hand in hand. This guy who lives with me is first and foremost a sailor, and the sea has become a defining factor in our lives - both in concrete and in metaphorical sense. Some of my biggest experiences of being utterly free and utterly loved have been our wanderings at the sea.
The name of the wrap, Staffasharu, is the name of one small island in the archipelago of Finland we have come to think of as "our own place", even though we by no means own the place or have any rights to claim it our own. It's a place we found by accident, that was perfect for our tiny boat, and was stunningly beautiful. It's a harbour for many memories I cherish and a place where we long to return.
Staffasharu is woven with copper weft and fuchsia tails. The colours remind me of burning summer days, of walking barefoot on rocks heated by the sun and of the endless glimmer of the sea. They remind me of one of the biggest miracles of my life: the man who for some curious reason decided to commit himself to this mess that I am.