They sat here. In these chairs, on these sofas. And I had the camera, and took no pictures.
to frame hands feeding yarn to hungry spinning-wheel bobbins, and sandaled and sock-clad and bare feet, working treadles.
And smiles, and laughter-lit eyes, and earnest faces talking words more serious.
Circle of women with lives wound together by common craft, common victories, shared griefs. Circle of warmth, wound around this room, circled around noon’s table, hand joining hand, sharing lunch, sharing prayer for absent sister, whose lovely fabric shop “is no more,”—victim of the filthy flood’s assault, sickening defilement from polluted river-mud-water.
And we sat long and longer in the bigger room, drew out the time to finer, longer length, treadling, spinning, plying, and talking yet more: of deluge and cut-off isolation, of chewed up highways, twisted like ribbons and turned into dirt roads in sections, of the adventure it had been just getting here, to this gathering…
… and of where we were when the earthquake reverberated all the way up from Virginia, and did we feel it, and did it rattle or did it roll?
… and what were the gas drilling companies doing now around each of our homes, scattered through the county, and what might the future look like in these rustic settings?…
… and how to ply a cabled yarn, and spin cotton, different ways. And what great new DVD’s we have as a guild.
And smiles. And quiet looks, serene.
No, I never took a picture. And my camera sat right there beside me, demanding no more than a reach and an aim and a quick button push or two, or three, or ten.
I wanted to, I did—but wanted more what I already had. Not to lose to camera beeps and flashes: the warmth of gentle camaraderie.
So. No pictures on the page but of the empty room, my own wheel standing alone, looking bereft. Yet pictures aplenty etched on a heart still basking in warmth left behind by the large hug that is the gathered circle of friends.