I have been remiss in actually including yarny, fibery content on this blog, haven’t I? Let’s remedy that.
I begin with two important framing revelations.
Point the first: Learning tends to come easily to me. More specifically, book learning comes easily. It took me years and one master’s degree to figure out that I was confusing being very good at something with really enjoying it. I was that student who wrote one-draft papers the night before they were due and largely earned As. Which is to say, I have not generally had to work at my academic successes like other students, and this ripples over to other learning experiences sometimes.
Point the second: Physical activities that require coordinating multiple limbs don’t tend to come easily to me. (Oh, hush, you, with the 12-year-old snickers. That’s not what I meant, but I couldn’t figure a better way to sum up a tendency that transcends inability at sports.) A few years ago, I took a belly dancing class. Loved it. The first couple classes went well. We learned a lot of the basic moves, broken down one at a time. A shoulder shimmy here, a step and hip thrust there. I felt sexy and had fun. Then the instructor told us we’d be working on a basic choreography by the end of the course. And it was like everything left my brain. I knew how to travel up a row and which foot went where, but the minute I had to coordinate that with an alternating shoulder shimmy or a gyration, I got lost, quickly falling out of formation and nearly stumbling into the woman behind me. Miss Grace I am not.
So this explains a lot of my trepidation about learning to spin on my new wheel. I am a poor student, easily frustrated when I can’t flawlessly pick something up, and for heaven’s sake, I have a double treadle spinning wheel that requires using two feet and both hands. I couldn’t even drive a stick shift.