Weaving a Tapestry and Web of Connection

All of our lives, we are subtly weaving tapestries and webs of connection, and sometimes, the patterns they create sustain us and provide strength and comfort in such times when we feel unmoored and have lost our way...

Yesterday, I had the honor and pleasure of celebrating the graduation of a very gifted and talented young woman who has achieved remarkable success - sweetly and deservedly earned - but not without much blood, sweat, and tears. I was profoundly moved at her accomplishments, knowing what it took for her to arrive at this place and time, with such beauty, gratitude, and grace...

I never had a daughter of my own, but I experienced the privilege and blessing of teaching and mentoring young women for nearly two and half decades. The oldest of these, are seeing children off to college and beyond - and the youngest are bearing their first children. It gives my heart great joy to witness what incredible women they have become and to delight in their children as well!

This Mother's Day, I spent part of my day with this young woman and her mother as we gathered around to watch the movie "How to Make an American Quilt." Five years ago, I saw this movie again on late night TV, after I had first watched it in '93, and I secretly hoped that some day, I could watch it, with this very same young woman, who was then just a child...

It is a movie about the complexity and beauty of relationships between women, and we are given windows into the individual stories of the main characters throughout the process of them working on a quilt for another young woman in the movie who will be married. The performances are stellar, considering the incredible actors in it: Anne Bancroft, Maya Angelou, Claire Danes, Winona Ryder, Ellen Burstyn, Alfre Woodard, Kate Nelligan, Kate Capshaw, Jean Simmons - among others - a few of them now departed and sorely missed for their incredible talents. The movie is profoundly moving and stunning in every way. It is also filled with incredible wisdom, and much is communicated in scattered glances here and there - as women who have shared intimacies and profound friendships so often do...

These are among my many favorite quotes:

"Young lovers seek perfection.
Old lovers learn the art
of sewing shreds together
and of seeing beauty
in a multiplicity of patches." 

love simply dies."

"I think the hardest part
of being a woman,
is not being able
to be friends with a man."

"How do we even know
we're supposed to be with one person
for the rest of our lives?"

"Would you rather marry a friend
or a lover?
I'd marry my soulmate."

"How do you merge into this thing
called couple,
and still keep a little room
for yourself?"

Yes, these are just some of the lines that have kept me coming back for more over the years...

For a brief glimpse of this movie, check out this link:

Watching this movie with my dear friend and her daughter, reminded me of the wish my heart had expressed so many years earlier - the desire to share this experience with a child I have loved dearly and watched blossom over the years.

A week or so later, I ran across a song entitled "Tapestry," on an album created as an accompaniment to Sarah Ban Breathnach's classic work from the 90's, "Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy," one of the most spiritually nourishing books I've ever read. It captured for me the essence of life, of relationships - and what is really important to me...

Life is a series of webs of connections - we weave ourselves into complex fabrics of relationships. Sometimes they are messy, and painful, and the fabric tears. But we often work hard to stitch the part rended, so that it will eventually sustain us once again. These tapestries will always be there for us - like a handmade quilt, ready to wrap us in their warm embrace if we let them...

I have transcribed the lyrics of this song here for you. The singer is Felicity Starks, and you can sample it on iTunes.


Sunlight and shadow
Side by side
In the twining,
The colors of life
Creating how we are
and what we know--
We can become...

Deeper and deeper
Lay on top lay,
Spinning over winding threads
Into a beautiful web
With every stitch
You're redesigning me,
So were our dreams:
Weave my destiny

Moment to moment
Breath by breath
I am living
While there's still life left
Before the fabric breaks down
I want to go--

Deeper and deeper
Lay on top lay,
Spinning over winding threads
Into a beautiful web
With every stitch
You're redesigning me,
So were our dreams:
Weave my destiny

Season to season 
Age to age
This web of love
will mark our days
While we're gone
The tapestry lives on...
Into a living, breathing tapestry

** For Maya, my dearest friends, and all the young women who so graciously touched my life!


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