Tenterhooks are hooks in a device called a tenter. Tenters were originally large wooden frames which were used as far back as the 14th century in the process of making woollen cloth. After a piece of cloth was woven, it still contained oil from the fleece and some dirt. A craftsperson called a fuller (also called a tucker or wa[u]lker) cleaned the woollen cloth in a fulling mill, and then had to dry it carefully or the woollen fabric would shrink. To prevent this shrinkage, the fuller would place the wet cloth on a tenter, and leave it to dry outdoors. The lengths of wet cloth were stretched on the tenter (from Latin tendere, meaning "to stretch") using tenterhooks (hooked nails driven through the wood) all around the perimeter of the frame to which the cloth's edges (selvedges) were fixed, so that as it dried the cloth would retain its shape and size. In some manufacturing areas, entire tenter-fields, larger open spaces full of tenters, were once common.
Yes, I need to prevent personal/spiritual shrinkage into fear and insecurity. Really, though, I am doing reasonably well as I wait for the next steps which will make this job a reality.
It's a production job. Remember I used to produce animation and VFX (visual effects)? An old friend and colleague emailed last week asking if I knew of any VFX producers in ... wait for it ... Long Island. Hmm ... I seem to be residing there for the nonce. Why not me? Although I might be overqualified in some respects, I haven't done specifically this in a number of years, having been more focussed on animation and technology production. But I still sit around with John and analyze shots, generally keeping up with what is going on.
The project is only 8 weeks, so, as I said problems not entirely solved and I will not be riding off into a happy sunset after my Job-like last few years. But this looks like a lot of fun and just hard enough to be a challenge in a couple of ways, like being on set and learning a new piece of production software. I can't really divulge much more, but it does feel good. And I must be ready because I did not have insomnia worrying about it last night. I'm not even chewing my nails now. I didn't even sink into procrastination by watching the season finale of True Detective with breakfast.
So, now a poem or two and back to the business of "getting it together" ... More Stafford.
THE LITTLE WAYS THAT ENCOURAGE GOOD FORTUNE
Wisdom is having things right in your life
and knowing why.
If you do not have the right things in your life
you will be overwhelmed:
you may be heroic, but you will not be wise.
If you have the right things in your life
but do not know why,
you are just lucky, and you will not move
in the little ways that encourage good fortune.
The saddest are those not right in their lives
who are acting to make things right for others:
they act only from the self—
no luck, no help, no wisdom.
FOR MY YOUNG FRIENDS WHO ARE AFRAID
There is a county to cross you will
find in the corner of your eye, in
the quick slip of your foot—air far
down, a snap that you might have caught.
And maybe for you, for me, a high, passing
voice that finds its way by being
afraid. That country is there, for us,
carried as it is crossed. What you fear
will not go away: it will take you into
yourself and bless you and keep you.
That's the world, and we all live there.