Friday, November 22, 2013

Weaving and the "Trickle Down" Theory

My Mother's Basket
     I went to the zocalo squares in Taos and Santa Fe looking for Indian baskets.  I wasn't sure why this seemed important.  I don't need another basket.  I have this tightly woven one of my mother's.  I found a few baskets for sale.  Each was loosely woven.  I held them to the light judging them against my mother's.  I found them wanting.  A few places had old baskets similar in quality to mine.  Not even these satisfied me.

     Today as I was sitting in a Japanese soaking tub listening to the sound of water dripping, the answer came to me.  I revere my mother's basket for its capacity to hold water.  I imagine the fingers that wove this basket making it a tight vessel for water.  I imagine a face smiling as the basket took shape.  My friend, Shane, has a Native American aunt in Northern California. She is well known for her weaving.  I believe she uses pine needles for some of her work.  I have seen a picture of her and I've seen some of her work.  I have seen her smiling.  

     Weaving.  As we weave a vessel for our soul, we hope that it will be tight and of good quality.  Shoddy work lets the soul seep away.  We weave an error here and repair it.  Seek guidance from a master weaver and weave a new pattern. We know when the weaving is satisfying and good.  Work worth doing and deeds worth noting make the weave tight.  I was searching for the weavers of the baskets.  I wanted to see their faces, their hands and their souls.  

     We all know humans who have woven tight vessels for their souls.  Chosen patterns well.  We know others who are somewhere in the process of weaving... their work edging towards a quality that will one day be greatly admired.  We hope for the company of master weavers.  We look for their joyful wisdom and sweet compassionate souls.

     If I were to pour water from my mother's basket, it would gush over the side, splash coolly and refreshingly.  It would be poured intentionally, not dribbled away like the trickling from loose weave.                         
Weave well, dear ones.
      Once I studied economics.  When the "trickle-down" economic theory came along, I just couldn't imagine it working.  If those with the greatest wealth let their bounty trickle out instead of gush, how was this going to benefit anyone?  The "trickle-down" theory conveys to me that those with the most wealth had woven a vessel for their soul with inattention, shoddy materials and a lack of rich joyfulness.  Fear of not having enough in their leaky baskets kept them from pouring forth with a measure of generosity.  Following such a weaver, not a master weaver at all, could not lead to prosperity for all.  Silly theory.

     Back to that Japanese hot tub.  This chair by the pool was covered with drops of rain.  When I went to sit on it between soaks, I realized that the drops were ice.  I didn't spend much time here contemplating life.  I preferred the bounty of the pool of water.
A chilly welcome!
Nurturing water.
   I am blessed with many master weavers.  They have taught me the value of pouring generously.



  1. A great metaphor considering water equals life.

  2. A great metaphor considering water equals life.

  3. I wonder how many other economic theories could be translated into basket weaving!

  4. Pope Francis noted: "Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile the excluded are still waiting."


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