Shuttle: A Tool for Change

As a weaver, I really value my shuttles. They make weaving easier and faster by carrying yarn or thread across the width of the cloth, and they can pack the yarn in place. But it strikes me that shuttles are a symbolic tool for change, not just in weaving, but also in life. Here’s why.

Organize colors. If a piece has many colors, shuttles keep each one neatly wound until it’s needed.

Like emotions, different colors can tangle easily. But when the shuttle holds them – when we step back and look at all our colors-emotions, then we can decide which one we want to weave-feel next. We can lift ourselves from one color, from one emotion to the next, until the cloth is as beautiful as we imagine it.

Carry threads. The shuttle carries threads back and forth through the warp, creating cloth. Back and forth, back and forth. Sometimes it’s monotonous, but with each pass of the shuttle, we’re moving upward. With each pass, another tiny amount of cloth is created.

In the same way, we sometimes feel like we’re experiencing the same things day after day after day, or year after year… But really, we’re moving upward. With each experience, we learn, grow and change, creating more life, adding to the tapestry of our own journey in this lifetime.

Beat cloth. There should really be another term for this… Beating is simply pressing threads into place after the shuttle carries them across the cloth. Though some looms have beaters just for this, shuttles can beat as well. When the beat is even, the cloth has a smooth, balanced texture and the same drape throughout. Otherwise, there may be thinner or thicker sections, unstable areas, or other differences.

It’s important to have a balanced life, like a balanced cloth. If we focus too much on career, for instance, we may not experience the fullness of a picnic, spending time with friends, or just learning something new. Balance isn’t always easy to achieve, but it’s worth the effort to create a fulfilling life – not just a few pleasant areas.

Who knew we could learn so much from a simple notched stick? Well, they don’t call it weaving for nothing. It’s called weaving because everything, in cloth and in life, is inter-connected. And whether we like it or not, it always will be. So use the shuttles of your thoughts, words, actions and choices to weave the best life you can right now.

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