Spinning Straw, Weaving Gold: An Introductory Excerpt

6 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

Work and love. Love and work. It is in the artful interweaving of these two primary life-strands through the duration of a woman’s life that deep fulfillment is sought—and often found. And it is a fair assumption that when the virtue of discipline is added, wisdom may be the result, and much good brought forth—with God’s help.

I previously explored the vibrant image of fire as wisdom in my book Becoming Flame.

I now add to it several complementary, similarly hopeful images to which women have a natural affinity.

Spinning and weaving, sewing “in the house,” are also important themes in women’s lives. The ancient art of spinning was highly valued among women’s traditional skills well up until the industrial revolution.

What if we reconsidered for our time the blended elements of women, work, and wisdom—and even age or endurance—in new and fresh perspective?

Today the art and craft of spinning may be making a resurgence as a creative, valued occupation for both men and women. Although the traditional hand skills of spinning and weaving have largely become mechanized in factories, individual thread- and cloth-making operations still persist, by choice, as expressions of personal art.

Are we perhaps ready for a new look at this process—to revitalize the concept of spinning in spiritual terms ... as a process solidly based in the good material “feel” of work in the world that can lead to creative consequences.

The potential of taking this metaphor to the spiritual dimension is the possibility of inclusion, of combining, weaving, or even braiding several strands of available reality—and thereby preserving paradox in evocation of some of the great mysteries of life for both men and women.

In Spinning Straw, Weaving Gold, my second collection of “uncommon” mother-daughter dialogues, I focus on the wisdom to be derived specifically from women’s work—which is, by definition, any work done by women.

COMING June 16 from Circle Books:

Spinning Straw, Weaving Gold: A Tapestry of Mother-Daughter Wisdom by Isabel Anders


The Daughter asked, “How do you spin all day, and see so little for your effort, and keep from discouragement?”

The Mother answered: “See this little square of texture and design? It is enough to wrap the universe in comfort and warmth.”

The Daughter was perplexed. “How can this be?”

The Mother replied: “Even a few inches of loving intent can spread to span continents. Ask a ray of sun.”

 —From Becoming Flame: Uncommon Mother-Daughter Wisdom.