Lacemaking, as a craft that has not changed much in the last five hundred years, guards a very special secret: through a subtle mind-body connection, it allows the faithful practitioners to access their inner space, which is the very core of the being.
In today’s world, the outside stimuli are becoming faster and more intense, constantly drawing one’s attention outwards. It is true for contemporary lacemakers as well, as they can find unlimited information online, and spend a lot of time browsing the patterns and images for guidance and inspiration.
But when it comes to actually making lace by hand - winding bobbins, preparing the pricking and working the stitches one by one - our attention turns away from the outside world, and concentrates solely on the lacemaking process.
In such focus we reach a state of calm and tap into the deep inner reservoir of our innate energy. The whole body aligns and works in harmony with our intention in a rhythmic motion of twists and crosses, periodically anchored by a pin placement. This perfect harmony of body and mind is a state where we are one with the creative energy of the Earth, the Moon, and the whole Cosmos. Whether we notice it or not, it is the reason why we find lacemaking so calming and deeply fulfilling. This experienced equilibrium then empowers us to face the chaos of the world, no matter how crazy it seems, with a certain composure and detachment.
Ever since I started to teach lacemaking some forty years ago, I had a notion that the value of the fine craft will not be as much in the artefacts created, but rather in the lacemaking process itself. I could not perceive then, of course, how much will the world change in my lifetime, and how much will all those changes imperil the equilibrium of human life.
I am glad that handmade lace is still here, alive and contributing to the astonishing weave of our world. It is great to know that we, the sole lacemakers of the 21st century, don’t have to do anything more special then to turn off all ‘smart’ gadgets, find a quiet place and make the lace the best way we can. When we lose ourselves in the meditative process of our delicately beautiful craft, and live in the moment from our inner source, everything else aligns and takes care of itself. It is that simple and we better keep it that way 🙂