Wool gathering isn’t that an image, my mind just runs with the idea. Patti Smith has written a book called wool gathering but I haven’t read it, I almost don’t want to ruin my ideas of the content by actually reading it.
When I picture wool gathering I imagine picking the wool off of the wire fences, gathering the wool the sheep have left behind. It could take hours to get much wool and you might have to walk a long way around the fields to get anything. I think the idea is sort of poetic.
When I was a child I used to go out and collect wool like this, I want to go out wool gathering like this again. I have moved since then and don’t know where I could find fields with sheep in them. I really feel I don’t know the area much at all and I feel like I need to get to know it desperately.
I think wool gathered in this way has more feeling to it, and I don’t think that’s just in my head: when it’s gathered in little tiny pieces and put together they are all different tones and textures so the pieces made from it do have more to them.
I’m going to read the book at some point I am, but the image of someone in a warm coat and scarf picking wool off fences in the late autumn. The grass crunching slightly icy underfoot, holding a cloth bag that’s slowly filling up with small pieces of lost wool. It’s the idea of a quiet contemplative time, time to think, it’s not an activity that needs to be done: there are so many more efficient ways to collect wool. This wool could be left ignored and lost but someone is taking the time to collect it all up, it gives it importance.