Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Linsey-woolsey

Linsey-woolsey is a coarse pioneer cloth woven with linen and wool, the linen forming the warp and the wool the weft or woof. The linen makes the cloth strong and lasting, the wool makes it warm, but because it was usually made from local fibers and dyed with available vegetable dyes, it was not much sought after, until now when a cloth object of linsey-woolsey may have immense historic value.

Today, as I have worked in the shop, I have given some thought to the meaning of living in a small town. Linsey-woolsey is a term that applies. After some long years, you become woven in, warp and weft, the whole of you, with the linen giving strength of community and the wool warmth.

When you first arrived you might have rested upon the surface of community like a patch, and time if you give it and let it has a way of removing your coarse edges and working you in to the depth of the cloth.

As a culture, we are buzzing like electrons, skipping from orbit, from thing to thing, and I would like to offer to my readers a strange notion. We live in a facebook, blogger age in which we can befriend or be befriended by others who will always be unknown to us. But there is a real world out there where encounters can run deep.

Eureka Springs is a linsey-woolsey kind of place. And I would wish the same for each of you.

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