This little statue is in a hidden corner of the Chinese Gardens of Friendship in Sydney. My children love this baby Buddha, we took them to the gardens often and always had to seek it out so they could stroke his head and sit with him for a while.
I place him here in gratitude – Buddha for us is the essence of goodness and all we try to follow in our lives. And I have so much to be grateful for. Our Lana, our treasure, our lovely girl and her beautiful children were spared their lives – so many miracles combined to save them. And our gratitude overflows for another narrowly avoided tragedy on that terrible night. What can I say for all these blessings?
I wanted to come here to the Temple of Solace, where so many broken hearts have lain, and say thank you, thank you to the angels who watched over them, thank you for the love of friends and family, thank you most of all for reminding us that angels and miracles do exist and that life is filled with purpose and meaning. There is so much sadness and loss, and we grieve endlessly for those who go on ahead, but sometimes fate is kind – and for this reprieve I am truly, truly thankful.
Legend hath it that Cerridwen had two children. Creiwy was the most beautiful girl in all the world. Afagddu, her son, was the ugliest boy. They lived on an island in the middle of Lake Tegid. To compensate for Afagdddu’s ugliness, Cerridwen decided to make him highly intelligent. So according to a recipe contained in the books of Vergil of Toledo the magician (hero of a twelfth century romance), she boiled up a cauldron of inspiration and knowledge, which had to be kept on the simmer for a year and a day. Season by season she added to the brew magical herbs gathered in their correct planetary hours.
When finally Gwion thrust into his mouth some drops of the mead he at once understood the nature and meaning of all things past, present and future.
The 19th of January is the anniversary of my husband, Darryl’s death. He lost a fierce battle with cancer and I am still to understand the meaning of all things past, present and future.
In honour of his memory I am asking those, who want to help in some way, to stop and think of us and add some magical herbs and other ingredients to this cauldron, in the hope that one day all will become clearer.
January 18th 2009
love you today and always Darryl
- before my time
You all might think I’m daft for not realising until so recently what the quilt buying was really about, but it is true, I didn’t know I was on my own ‘comfort rugging quest’.
I stumbled across a lovely old quilt on eBay while sitting up with my dog Kelly when she was so sick and in pain and I tended her throughout the nights. The more she hurt the more I hurt, and the more I hurt the more I turned to external things for distraction from a fear of having to euthanise Kelly, a fear that was threatening to drive me right around the bend. By the end of the three week stretch of a hellish illness with the poor creature I had developed a wicked shake in my hands that I could not still, a shake so pronounced I could barely type on my keyboard, with twitches and tics in spots on my face. Now that’s stress.
I realised I was looking for distraction with the eBay shopping but I didn’t catch on that the contents of my mailbox and deliveries were all about comfort and a quest for a sense of histories, of the roots that would hold me in good stead during these life storms, roots I don’t have. I have gained at least ten pounds and more quilts than I can count (because they haven’t all arrived yet). I have no money(somewhat disturbing, but only somewhat) so all were bought on credit. I’m not cringing about that really because I spent no money for Christmas as I have no family to spend it on and an acceptable interest pay-back rate. I also have self-compassion and (finally) self-understanding.
The quilt pictured above was the most expensive at only $80 US. You read that correctly! The fellow didn’t sell me his grandmother but he might as well have for that price! The piece is enormous, covering most of one entire living room wall, entirely handstitched with no discernable pattern and most pieces no larger than a *small* Post-It, and very, very many as small as half a pinky finger. I keep sitting on the couch staring at it in awe and gratitude to have such a work of art in my home, for it has done something to make this house seem more like a home to me. All the quilts seem to have that magic.
The best clue to their real meaning for meaning, their connection with my need for roots, for history, for a sense of something besides the terrible present, is that the one requirement for all the quilts I’ve sought out is that they all be antique at best, vintage at least, and hopefully made with love. The ones called “crazy quilts” are best because they best reflect my crazy life and my episodic internal chaos while managing to be full of comfort at the same time. I strive to be like that: able to be warm and full of comfort despite my own chaos.