The quilt I use to warm myself is multi-colored; a patchwork of fabrics dark and light. It is a tapestry of facets, layers and textures. It is soft and smooth in some places and in others it is rough and tattered. It is greater than the sum of all its parts and no single patch defines the whole. Each is a part of the woman I am today.
The light that shines from it is a reflection of ME. There are patches of both sadness and joy from my childhood. I loved school and I was called a chatterbox by my teachers in early primary school. I spent long hours reading Enid Blyton and imagined myself in faraway lands called “The Land of Take What You Want” and “The Land of Topsy Turvy” where I ate magic gobstoppers and toffee shocks that exploded in your mouth. I packed my little suitcase every school holiday and went to stay with my grand mother who lived down the road. She nurtured me with stories of India and ripe mangoes, popcorn and monkey nuts that we devoured while watching comedies on television. Her laughter lit her eyes like candles and opened her mouth to reveal the few white stubs that remained. I remember standing behind her on the sofa letting her long silvery-grey hair cover my body until I was invisible.
There are patches in my quilt from childhood of fragmented memories of unspeakable horrors of abuse and nightmares of long, thick black snakes that wrapped themselves around my little body and tried to squeeze my life spirit out of me.
My quilt is filled with the love of words, learning and new ideas. It consists of travels to many distant places around the world with exotic foods and customs.
The rich colors represent a fierce independence and self-sufficiency that will always be a part of me. Yet, there are darker shades which symbolize the profound loneliness of being an unmothered child.
There are patches showing relationships, all of them twisted and complex. None of them easily understood. None of them all good or all bad. The thread that binds them curves and bends and twists and turns. Friendships riddled with jealousy and insecurity and a codependent marriage that stops and starts and now stops.
As my healing journey progresses, the nuances and subtleties of my quilt become more evident and unveil new beauty and depth.
I wrap it around me lovingly and accept every stitch as it is. It is mine.