Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.
Or put more simply, flow is roughly the equivalent to what most people refer to as being “in the zone” or “in the groove”.
Being such a desirable state, flow is naturally linked to happiness.
Flow leads to those inexplicable moments when we are “surprised by joy.” These precious moments seem to be gifts, almost accidental peak experiences in which life seems rich with meaning, joy and wonder. When and why do these magic episodes intrude upon our humdrum existences?
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi believes:
“Contrary to what we usually believe, moments like these, the best moments of our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times…the best moments of our lives usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to the limits in a voluntary moment to achieve something difficult and worthwhile. Optimal experience is thus something we make happen…for each person there are thousands of opportunities, challenges to expand ourselves.”
I and the loom were in flow for most of Friday, the tweed rolled off with ne’er a hitch, glitch or snarl and the first tweed was soon finished, cut out and tied ready for collection.
Part of the pleasure in weaving is tuning in to the sound of the loom as it weaves. Any change in sound is a good indicator that something has changed or gone awry but when nothing goes wrong the cacophony of rattles, burrs and clanks can make for some interesting aural Rorschach.
One can easily imagine the relationship of the Bheart Mor to Gaelic song, their meter and timings go hand in hand, but my mind, still trying to shake 15 years of clubland, can’t help but slip into the 4:4 of classic Chicago House and Detroit Techno.
And so, as the rapier blurs back and forth, the sound of Joey Beltram’s infamous 1990 release mentally looped over and over internally, reed-beat cutters providing bass, weft weights clattering like hi-hats and heddle snares coming in from everywhere…
Not quite the idyllic Hebridean scene but whaddya do..?