I just want to share with you what I think is a very monastic "thing". Maybe it won't appear that way, but monks of another age used to spend lots of time weaving baskets -- or working with their hands. The Desert Monks did this especially. They did lots of mindless work so that they could also be praying or memorizing the psalms while they were working besides. They also sold these handcrafted articles in the market place to provide for their own living.
Of the past few years, I have revived a practice that my family used to do. We made rag rugs. We would cut strips of old material, sew the strips together and then braid them or crochet the strips into rugs.
Here at MM, I have done this alot with old jeans. There never seems to be a scarcity of old jeans here at MM. This year I even asked Br. Mel if he would like to help with this project. He was more than willing. He really likes to help with things like this. Below are a few photos of Br. Mel cutting jean strips.
Below is a photo of the rug that was made from most of the strips that Br. Mel cut.
This rug was put together by my sister, Judy Hoppe.
It was a silent auction item at the Night of Knights.
I also spent some class time cutting strips with the students of Social Justice and Peace class. It was always a hands on lesson of making something from nothing. It was always a fun project and the students seemed to like it. I then would use all the pockets and make a jean quilt. Below are some photos of the class of 2011.
Some group photos-- three different classes -- with the final products