I’ve been thinking a lot about this slogan this past week. Even on days when I have not been weaving. But before I go into that I should explain where the slogan originated.

SAORI – the company, the philosophy, the weaving style – is built around four slogans. Some might call them concepts, or tenants or principles. I was taught they were slogans. Might be it’s in how you translate. Might not. Since I don’t speak Japanese, I’ll go with slogans. These slogans come from Misao Jo, the founder of SAORI. I’ll have to write more on her later. And I’m certain that these slogans will come around often.

Anyway, the slogans:

  1. Keep in mind the differences between what machines can do and what people can do.
  2. Explore with all your might.
  3. Weave with a happy heart.
  4. Learn together as a group.

Simple. But spend time pondering them, and they are deep. If you want to read more about the 4 slogans, SAORI Worchester has some great thoughts on them, you can read here. And there are other concepts from SAORI that are equally as deep. But we will get to those another time.

So back to weaving with a happy heart. Misao Jo came to this while weaving. As much as she enjoyed weaving, the push for perfection and the lack of individual artistic expression in traditional patterned weaving took the joy out weaving for her. When she set aside those pretexts she wove with a happy heart.

OK, well most of my fiber weaving experience has been SAORI. So why was I thinking about weaving with a happy heart so much this past weekend? Because I was mowing the lawn.

And I was HAPPY about it! Yeah, sure, it might have something to do with the music in my ears (earbuds in the ears with those big noise-reducing ear protection thingies over top make for some EXCELLENT sound!), or the fact that riding a tractor/mower is just plain fun. But I really think it had to do with the fact that I let go of pretexts. Who cares if I follow the mowing rules? As long as ALL the little blades of grass (and their weedy counterparts) get cut off, I’m good. So I worried less about which way I was supposed to be going and concentrated on enjoying the experience.

That led me to another thought. If in weaving we WEAVE WITH A HAPPY HEART, maybe in life we should DO WITH A HAPPY HEART. I was thinking about that as I washed the dishes. I can’t say that doing dishes brings joy to my heart, but having a clean kitchen does. (Hmm, maybe I should think about that while I do the floors…)

But really, it’s more than that. It’s living purposely and purposefully living – with a happy heart. My heart is happy. I hope yours is too.