What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

17 February 2018

Strands of a Life

Legacy may be planting seeds in a garden you never get to see, but that doesn't tell us what to do with the gardens that are left to us. What we leave behind matters. But so does what we do with what's been left.

An old episode of Theatre People caught my ear recently, when Jeanine Tesori said, "A lot of the middle ages is taking the strands of your family's history and trying to decide what you're going to use in your own embroidery." I may not be quite to the middle ages just yet, but choosing my own strands is a thing I'm definitely thinking about this week.

Some literal family embroidery--my
grandmother's. This is a thread of hers that
is also in me. The fact that we shared this
was the sort of thing she might have
mentioned while she was still alive.
Some strands I left behind long before it even occurred to me that that's what I was doing, when straight out of high school I decided I needed to move away from my family and its history and see what I could embroider on a clean canvas. I brought them with me, though, with the needing things just so and the snark and the hanging onto things because I'll find a use for them later, plus wherever the writing thing came from.

My grandfather's nickname in his final years was "Mr. Wonderful," because whenever anyone asked him how he was, he would say, "Wonderful." He said that to me when I saw him the last time in the hospital--I walked in when he was alone, he grinned the same smile that my mother and uncles and brother all inherited, but not me--I said, "How are you, Grandpa?" and took his hand. He said, "Wonderful," before telling me he was in too much pain for me to hold his hand like that.

My Chadwick greeted the world with arms and heart open every day. I said of my uncle's passing earlier this week, "the world just got a little less kind and open-hearted." The pieces of my family's thread that are already in me are so deeply embedded that I don't even have to think about them, I can't even see them most of the time, but this open-heartedness and embrace of the world and everyone in it--those are threads I have to fight for. They aren't in me, because I have, at least somewhat from necessity, closed off my heart. I wonder what I'm missing, what kind of tapestry I could be making, if I could access those threads that I've left in the box for now. Who knows how my embroidery will change as the years go by?

I can't use all my family's thread. And I certainly don't want to. We have some ugly colours that I've purposely avoided, because that's not the kind of legacy I want to leave behind. And I've added some that are just me, which means leaving even more of everyone else in the box. 

What threads are you using?

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