Berit Engen WEFT and D'RASH – A Thousand Jewish Tapestries

(Tapestry detail)

After Thirteen Years of Weaving “Weft and D’rash”:
Tying Up Loose Ends

After weaving about 650 tapestries, I needed to take a break for a few months. This time allowed me to get serious about writing, and for a while I switched from yarn and loom to ink and notebook.
I began to rethink older musings and reflections, scribble down new thoughts and ideas, and record my anecdotes and stories – everything that clearly or opaquely relate to my Jewish experience.
As a child, I used to love writing, especially letters, and I had a wide correspondence. I stored the letters carefully in a suitcase. After my mom died, and my dad moved out of the apartment I grew up in, I took the suitcase with me on a train ride, looking forward to reading them all and deciding which ones to keep. I boarded the train in Oslo, and when I arrived in Trondheim eight hours later I was still reading . . .

I am now (2023 and about fifty-five years later) back to voluntary writing as I want to throw more light on my project beyond the notes that accompany the series and tapestries. The essays reflect how my life stories influence my current work and vice versa. Like ways the vertical threads of the warp and the horizontal weft overlap and intertwine, life's details end up being mysteriously connected. I know the word 'tapestry' is too frequently used as a metaphor but it is the best metaphor for the complexities of life.

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