Wednesday, February 27, 2008

weaving a Rosette

Interestingly, the sun icon on Weathernetwork has the 8 points of the divine flower symbolic of the morning and evening star, Venus. In an interesting twist on logic, a day on Venus is longer than a year. A day is 243 Earth days, but a year only 225 days. Gives new meaning to the concept of time as we know it.

The timeless rosette is an early motif found in ancient Sumerian, Akkadian, and Persian "art". It is a wedding of the Morning and Evening Star. The 8 pt rosette is also very common in Islamic "art" / devotion. (the idea of art as outside of the spiritual or as separate from everyday life is a more recent, Western invention.)

The 8 point rosette surrounds me. It is evident on all the Persian and tribal carpets in my house and on the prayer mats, too. I see it etched on the borders of boxes of sweets. The covers of books. The trim on a gown. Inspired by the rosette, I once started a series of 8 poems dedicated to Iraq. This red vision is the floor beneath my feet here in my back room where I sit and type. This room on the 2nd floor was once the 2nd kitchen of this old house in the 40s when, following the Depression, it was turned into a 2-family home. That's why I have a large garden lot beside my house unlike my neighbours, whose houses are all tight in a row. The owners of this old house never sold the land beside them for someone to build a tiny wartime home like across the street; instead, they converted the house for rent. Money was tight. I wonder, was there foreclosure in those days?

This rosette strewn tribal carpet replaces the linoleum that was laid over the pine boards shortly after Thursday, May 7th, 1942. That is the date of The Port Arthur News-Chronicle that was laid underneath the then-new technology of linoleum (which is now enjoying a resurgence with the hazards of vinyl flooring becoming known). The newspaper headline reads: Madagascar Base Captured: Jap Naval Activity Increase Called Ominous. Frenchmen Fought with Gallantry, Says Churchill). I guess that is the 40s version of 'the war on terrorism'..."Japs" were the Arabs/Islamic threat.

The red dream under my feet was made in Afghanistan. Its colours warm up the room and just gazing at it soothes a ragged soul. If you look closely, you can see from the bands of different red shades that vegetable dyes were used to dye the wool. This uneven marbling of colour is called abrash and it marks the spot where the weaver ran out of wool and had to go out and get more wool. I wonder if the tribal weavers today have time to weave or are they dodging one of the 4.7 million bullets the Canadian army has shot in Afghanistan?

Traditionally, men dyed the wool. Traditionally, the weavers wove the designs on the carpet guided by the voice of a woman coordinating everyone's work. I wonder if she was singing?

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