The current pandemic and ensuing lockdown have challenged all of us both physically, mentally and perhaps even spiritually. Even the most seasoned beings have been jerked and startled out of their ‘Zen’ like composures due to the uncertainty of the virus and its consequences. It didn’t help that people were now forced to confront the reality that a new normal was slowly emerging. Overnight going to parties, shopping at malls or dining at restaurants were now only fading memories as families were under house arrest. Nightmares, anxiety and feelings of restlessness were common mental health issues a lot of us faced.
Pursuing a hobby can be a great stress buster at such times. Having learnt Macramé more than two decades ago, the lockdown provided the perfect opportunity for me to rediscover it by chance as I scrolled through YouTube videos. I could instantly recall the process and how my teacher had taught me this artform so much so that I had even received a prize for it! Sadly, I don’t have the prized article anymore which was lost during the various houses we had moved.
So, what exactly is macramé? Strings of rope or thread are tied into various knots to reveal ornamental patterns and designs to create a knotted piece of art. Its history can be traced back to 13th-century Arabic weavers and later in the 17th century became a Victorian-era favorite. The boho-chic macramé became a rage in the 1970s era of hippies and bellbottoms. Recently macramé has made a comeback with artisans making customized and personalized pieces both as home decor and as fashion accessories.
Before I realized it, I was hooked to macramé. Beginning with a dream catcher, I soon progressed to making potholders, jewelry, shelves, wall hangings, bags and lots more. Due to its relaxing and therapeutic qualities, it soon became a daily practice. It helped me stay mindful. Soon the regrets of past and worries of future seemed unimportant as I was rooted in the present moment. I feel macramé is a meditative experience, and I enjoy the rhythm and repetition of tying different knots to create elaborate patterns.
Making macramé as a hobby was my coping mechanism for tackling lockdown blues and nightmares. The lockdown was, after all, turning out to be an opportunity where I revived an artform which I had forgotten for twenty years. The pandemic has pressed the reset button to our lives where we are learning to set new goals, shift our focus and reinvent ourselves. The lives we were living were not normal, and the virus has forced us to have a rethink of our purpose of life, its meaning and how we should be living it. Finding pleasure in the ordinary, having gratitude for the smallest of things, doing things more mindfully, appreciating nature… beyond the pursuit of material possessions.
Each macramé piece is handmade with love and has given me immense joy. Recently my family encouraged me to share this joy with others. It is not easy to part with some of the macramé pieces I have patiently made for hours at end. You get attached to them. But then I didn’t ‘need’ all of them all though I ‘want’ them all. So, learning to be detached and ‘letting go’ is another life lesson macramé taught me. I hope to spread happiness with my macramé creations.
As a budding local artisan, I would like you to own these pieces of art (naturally, only if you like them :), at a nominal price. Currently, I’m marketing my work only in Pune and Mumbai. You can view my collection on our website https://somanytraveltales.com/so-many-creations/
and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/so_many_creations?r=nametag
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