Inclement weather drew me into Iona Gallery and Pottery selling local paintings and pottery. Different artists’ renditions of Iona. The woman tending the shop was crocheting. “No, I don’t paint; my passion is weaving.” She went on to tell me that after coming to Iona on and off for thirty years, she moved to the island five years ago. Her small house has a tiny bedroom and kitchen and a living room for her loom. She hopes to buy a bigger home where she can weave and have her own shop.
I figure Maura to be in her early sixties. She admitted that her finances are limited, always have been, so when she started dreaming of moving to Iona she focused on the all financial obstacles. Added to that, her friends thought her dream was impossible/crazy. “Then, when I started thinking of possibilities instead of obstacles, things fell into place and here I am.” She doesn’t know how it will all work out, but she believes that if she keeps her dreams, whatever happens will be just right for the moment.
We agreed how essential it is not to create our own ageism by limiting our dreams. “I may pop tomorrow, but I’m living today.”
We talked about craft, about the need to do something with our hands. Women’s work through the ages. I told her that as a writer, I sometimes feel out of balance—too much in my head. I’m now inspired me to pick up the simple knitting that that I brought from home.
And then there was the topic of solitude, which permeated the entire conversation. I told her about my need for solitude and about my solitary travel. She told me that when friends come to visit, she makes certain that she has time alone. She loves working in the shop because of the conversations with strangers. We agreed that our encounter was a perfect combination of community and solitude for us both. Then off I went.