November 26, 2010

Aging Gracefully On Slender Threads

This week's beauty is Kay Moates who is 66 years old.  Kay is a lifelong dancer & teacher who also creates a line of beautiful hand knit shawls called On Slender Threads.  Made of  luscious fibers and earth gems, Kay specializes in wraps for all the transitions and celebrations in life including marriage, birth, illness, and mourning. Her shawls empower, ground, and delight.

By Kay Moates

My entire story resides in these lines . . . lines on my face, lines on my hands, lines on my sagging body, even I’m guessing, lines on my heart.

Probably I’m on the fringe, maybe even the edge, about many days in one’s life. You see, I didn’t know my grandparents and to this day still feel slighted. There’s an empty space within me from not experiencing their embraces, words, and personalities; also, from not breathing the same air with them. Oh, long have I looked at their wizened faces staring at me from familiar shaped heads, knowing eyes, and silent lips. Living in their gene pools I could sense their wisdom sparks but photographs didn’t fill the void. This not knowing gave me a different perspective from our culture’s views/pressures/lack-of-teachings about aging. Sounds strange even to me, but at 16, I was wishing to have white hair as I aged. Got that wish in my thirties.

As a young adult, I found Sulamith Wulfing’s work The Transition. It is a powerful symbol/truth holder companioning my way as each decade asks me to make changes either physically or energetically. Some are slight, others massive. Mostly the massive ones have been soul shifts, radical new topography offering release of obsolete patterns. Done in my 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and now my 60’s these shifts are teachers softening my opinions, waking me to the moment, adding time to my day, and giving me my self. Wonder if modern psychology will ever offer retrieval of our inner elder?

The unspoken truth behind denial about aging is our culture’s extreme fear of death. Death is the other side of the living coin, the kiss between two consciousnesses. It’s as natural as each line that marks me. Here I am a new Grandmother late in my days, yet early enough to leave vibrant memories speckled with wisdom . . . where my many etched lines are signs of wonder, streaks of mystery, keepers of stories, harbingers of hope.

Kay's shawls are available on Etsy and Craft is Art.

On Slender Threads is also on Facebook.
Thank you Kay for being this week's beauty.


  1. Kay's work and story are truly beautiful. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. I'm wrapped in one of Kay's creations right now! Her musings always inspire me!

  3. Yes like this one: that through the decades her physical and energetic shifts have been teachers that have softened her opinions and offered release of obsolete patterns- which have given her herself.

    I was paraphrasing there...but I think that this is one of the true beauties of aging Kay.

    Thank you for putting it so eloquently.

  4. This is beautifully written, Kay. I own and cherish two of Kay's creations. They too are so beautiful.
    I was thinking about the pleasures of aging today, finally thinking about taking on the word crone in all its glory. I turn 60 in January. At this point it seems like a pretty good age to be. Kay thank you for sharing these thoughts on so many important things.

  5. Oh Kay, this is so beautifully written. You, your mantels, and your words pierce straight through to my heart! I love how you say you even have lines of aging on your heart. How beautiful. I would love that too!! And also, I have always wanted white hair. Like Emmylou Harris and Kay Moates. :)

  6. I love Kay Moates!
    I say "Wow!" to her wisdom and spill over with abundant gratitude for her living dance with the Divine! Kay's keen love affair with the mystery is so inspiring to me. And, "the kiss between two consciousnesses" is soon to be an embrace when people like Kay usher in a new world. Thank you, Kay Moates! Can I adopt you as my mom?

  7. Kay's artistry and word beauty and shining smile have enhanced my life. I love wearing my mantles, and every single time I wear them in public someone approaches me to touch them, ask about them. I suspect this happens to Kay with or without a mantle on! I especially loved her line about "retrieval of our inner elder?". What a hoot! with love from another clanwoman of the white hairs.

  8. Knowing Kay has most definitely enriched my life. And it's so wonderful to see her here, in the spotlight, dancing with such grace and joy.

  9. Kay is a treasure...Her work, her spirit, her heart (and that wonderful blue-eyed gaze) enrich and enliven my work, spirit and my heart. Wonderful, glowing blog post! thank you~

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  11. I'm grateful to have Kay as a friend and have admired her wonderful Mantles for a while now.. hmm, the holidays approach and my lovely wife needs just that right gift.. :)

    Thank you Kay!

  12. Hi Kay,

    I saw this post on Facebook through Randy Grossman. I have a new song called, "Lines," that I'd like to share with you and your readers. If you like this song, please visit my Reverb Nation page for more. You can also find me on Facebook by searching "Rique' Collection."



  13. Your words touched me when you spoke of your grandparents....I only knew my dad's parent' Granmother was not kind but my Grandfather made up for him...perhaps that is why I love gardening so much..he use to hide in his garden to escape too. My other set of Grandparents died before I was born..and I've been told..I missed's funny but I never thought too much about what I missed..just dealt with it...but your words put meaning to it now. I have seen your work before...when things get a bit better..going through a rough financial spot...would love one of your pieces to keep me feeling safe and warm.

  14. Oh dear soul, Kay Moates. Moved and moving in response to this gorgeous reflection on the delicate and not so delicate parts of growing up and growing older. So vital to stay open to what is possible in each and every
    day of our lives, even as our bodies, energy levels and awareness change moment by moment. Aging as we so well know is not a linear process but a spiral and your example demonstrates that spiral inward to reach outward in truth and light. Many thanks deep, wide and a thousandfold for your life of courage and your reach to freedom so we can all be a bit more free.