Becoming a Recluse


I started to write a blog post about six weeks ago entitled, “Becoming a Recluse.”   I never dreamed it would become so apt.


The gist of the post was my decision late last fall to forego all outside commitments so that I could focus on my projects at home—spinning, weaving, dyeing, and gardening.


Because there aren’t many people giving presentations on antique wheels and flax production, those that I gave last year led to multiple offers for talks, projects, and articles.   While intriguing, what I really wanted to do was hunker down at home with my fleeces, wheels, loom, and plants.  So, I said “no” to everything, with the explanation that for the next year I wanted no commitments, but rather to stay at home to make things, grow things, and do nothing at all.

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George and I decided that we would ease up on the projects at home, too, planning to spend more time relaxing and savoring the seasons.  I should have been more careful with what I wished for.


All of those outside obligations (had I taken them on) have been cancelled.  My wish became a mandate.  And doesn’t that change everything?  What had been a wonderful few months of very sweet contentment, waking every morning to do just what I wanted–mostly weaving and spinning–is now infused with worry.

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The slow motion aspect of this disaster makes it especially surreal.

IMG_4520A tsumani of illness, turmoil, and economic devastation is headed our way and we can’t do much but watch and hope that it won’t be as bad as we imagine.  Sometimes lack of imagination is a good thing.


We are well suited for this lockdown, by our natures and the relative self-sufficiency of a life in rural Maine.  I have enough books to read and fleeces to spin to last for years.


Our neighborhood and town are supportive and caring.  But so many lives will be devastated.  I fear that the coming year will be horrific and hope that our democracy survives intact.


Still, spring is coming, virus or not.   I will be starting my garden seedlings this week, with plans for a big garden.


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I spin and weave every day and continue to work on my rescue wheels (which will outlive us all).


The dogs are their usual charming, sweet selves,


and the sky continues—as always–to put on a glorious show.


Please stay healthy, sane, creative, and resilient.   Take care of yourselves.