Bloomington Indiana - Culture Magnified. Culture within a culture, or blended cultures (not yogurt).

I just have this strange relationship with Bloomington, Indiana. It has memories - good and bad, from the 60's and 70's. As a High School student I would visit with friends who were looking at Indiana University as a college pick. We'd walk campus and grab lunch on the square. Then the years we spent in the area as the hubbie went to school there (several stints).

And our little sub-culture within a culture, during the 70's, took us to "town," off the farm for several years. We went to town for "supplies," to run errands, and for Back to the Land farming and survival technique workshops in the Library basement, and sometimes a free lecture or two on the "meaning of life."

Now, I'm taking weaving classes at a yarn shop in Bloomington. I also carried a few of my Knit felted bags to show the shop owner, and she actually told me she would sell my patterns, and that I needed to patent one of my newest designs (which I have not photographed yet, as it is unique enough I want to have the pattern in writing and a copyright done before I post a pic.).

WOW - I was so honored. (Still have that resolution to be published this year - I'm close.)

Back to the culture. I worked in Bloomington years ago, I was a college drop-out, so my inferiority was on my sleeve in a college town. I was a clerk in a high-end educational media production business, answered phones and typed original error free letters to the 12 Board members. My personal lifestyle was so opposite my superiors, that they took it upon themselves to discriminate against me miserably. Why I kept the job is more than I want to go into today. One day I was called on the carpet for my opinion I had expressed in the break room. (I hate gossip.)

I was told that I had, "No culture."

The damage from that confrontation has stayed with me for decades. When I enter Bloomington's city limits I remember the humiliation. When I step into the building that holds my favorite yarn store, I'm battling something inside me that lies to me and tells me I'm going to fail again, then I see my weaving on the loom and tell myself - wow, you're really cultured now, girl.

Yesterday the hubbie stopped in the shop to see my weaving for the first time, and actually started researching plans for building a weaving loom for me - NOW I'M really honored!

I had other visitors as I sat and progressed on my woven scarf - my sister came to the shop, saw my weaving, and discussed all of our joint projects with the shop owner. We had a great time, sipping cokes, learning new knitting methods in a little deli and catching up on a lifetime of being apart.

A man stopped in to tell me all the unique methods of weaving internationally, we discussed weaving methods and tribal colors from Guatemala, weaving sweat shops in Indonesia, the meaning of symbols woven in Tibet, China, Mexican, and the Navajo weaving "a way out" of each of their pieces, to name a few. He was very learned in hieroglyphics and spent a great deal of my weaving time giving me suggestions for design on MY work. He was terribly disappointed in my piece when he discovered I hadn't dyed my own yarn, but had bought the different colors and was changing colors as I wove, instead of "tie-dying" the yarn ahead of time. My old fear of failure was rising up within me, that stinking thing just won't let up.

THEN I made this decision:

Golly, I ain't cultured enough yet, but cha know what - this time I don't give a hoot!


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