I was looking through some old writings from over a year ago, and I came across this blog post. I wrote it just after I started the blog and I was not even tagging it or sending it around yet. As a writer, there are times when I reread something and I think, hmmm, that was pretty good. Not often, mind you. A writer is their own worst critic. But this jumped out at me as quite poignant, and so, I decided to post it again so it can be shared with those who now follow as the blog has grown. I hope you enjoy it…and that it speaks to you…as it seems to have spoken to me again. Blessings!
“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” ~ Seneca
“Somehow, even in the worst of times, the tiniest fragments of good survive. It is the grip in which one holds those fragments that counts.” ~ Melina Marchetta
“Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. The stubborn retention of it, even in the face of extreme hardship, can hold a man’s soul in his body long past the point at which the body should have surrendered it.” ~ Laura Hillenbrand
**** “Extraordinary people survive under the most terrible circumstances and they become more extraordinary because of it.” ~ Robertson Davies
In the post “The Possibility of a Moment”, there is a quote that reads…”life is a series of moments strung together”…and so it is. Sometimes, the string of moments are a beautiful thread that lights up our tapestries and weaves a wonderful picture in our lives, with sweeping goodly emotions and breathtaking panoramas. But, sometimes those moments can be made up of frayed threads, broken strings and colors all awash with frightening darkness and anguish. Sometimes things happen in life that are unexpected, unexplained and uncontrollable, and we despair about what to do or how to do it, or make it change or fix it, or how to make it better or right itself.
It is easy to love ourselves through the good moments, to be proud of ourselves and to manage life as that part of the tapestry weaves itself. But when the weave goes awry, what then do we do to our tapestries?
In the quote above, Laura Hillenbrand says, “Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen.” And that, I believe, is what makes the difference. If we can maneuver through the damaged threads of our tapestry with dignity, then we can survive the moments that would otherwise ruin the bind. It is the poise and character with which we face those broken threads that give them the substance to be gathered up again and rewoven into the fabric of our pictures. And it is those mended threads that give our tapestries the quality, personality, and spirit that make it our own story, our own unique existence. It is these faulted moments that make up the landscape of our lives and make them the distinctive and irreplaceable embroidery that we call our self…and without them…and the dignity with which we hold our heads high in the face of them…that sets us apart from each other.
Surviving life, or the break in our threads, does not come easy. But somehow, through our acts of courage to move on, we find that we are stronger than we thought ourselves to be because, yes, another day has come and gone, and we survived it. And then time passes into something else.
So, take up your needles, thread your threads, and weave those landscapes in the most amazing ways you can imagine…broken and frayed threads and all…and hang your tapestries proudly for all the world to see. Some will judge it, some will criticize it, and some will even dislike it…but that does not matter. Because it is those that love it (including ourselves) that really count and they will always be there to help us stitch and mend the threads we have torn, and they will love us even more for having tried. As we should too, for ourselves and others.
Now stand back, and look at the tapestry as a whole picture, and see that one thread does not define the picture of itself…it takes many threads of different colors, to make the self a whole. And in that, lies the beauty. And also in that, lies the soul that survived through all the stitching. That, in and of itself, is a miracle. And so are You!