“Everything we have seen and everyone we have known goes into us and constitutes us, whether we like it or not. We are linked together in a pattern we cannot see and whose effects we cannot know. One slub here, a dropped stitch there, a bump encounter in that place, and the whole fabric will be different once it is woven.” Anna Funder
In the last six months so much has changed.
Gone are the long linoleum corridors,
The pains in my heart,
The searching for a park
In downtown Darlinghurst
Grant manages this with Sam now.
Thankfully, the appointments are fewer.
After three years of the intrepid journey
We arrive at the top of a mountain.
As anticipated the view is breathtakingly beautiful.
The journey has been worth it.
Life opens up again before us.
Different this time
I haven’t posted here for so many reasons.
I never stopped writing.
Writing saves me.
It takes the thoughts that whirl in my head,
And pins them to the page
Before anxiety knocks me off balance.
Last August some surprising things happened.
Sam said yes.
Emma got accepted to study in Paris.
Jack started Year 12.
I haven’t known how to share these things.
I haven’t known how to do anything really.
I’ve been talking to God about this.
“God, I don’t really know how to be good at the next part of life.” I say.
I’ve asked Him so many questions and in His faithfulness, He always tells me enough for each day.
Then last weekend a lovely email came from Paris.
It was from Emma.
Ever since Emma was very little we have shared a love for words.
We have read them out loud, and penned them side by side in silence in cafes.
Then over coffee we have asked each other, what is God saying to you?
In her email Emma asked me to blog again.
‘It would be a good way for me to know what God is saying to you,’ she wrote.
So this is for you Emma.
I’ve been asking God how I will know what to do, now that my children have taken me seriously and moved on to the independent life we always encouraged them to live.
So much of my life has been occupied by active parenting. Is that a phrase, which explains the process?
I don’t know!
What I do know is that almost every waking moment for the last 24 years has been focused on trying to get this right. The house has rarely been this quiet or this empty.
I take myself for coffee in the mornings out of habit now. I no longer need to find space or an excuse to not search for socks.
Emma is doing a brilliant job dealing with the landlord in Paris over unfortunate events. Jack has her car and makes his own way to school. Sam is making breakfast in her own apartment with her husband.
Yet the habit is fixed, I leave early, ordering coffee over the phone as I start the car in the driveway. When I arrive at the café, I am welcomed and it is placed in front of me, piping hot.
I am thankful for small familiar habits.
On top of all the changes at home, I started a new job. Instead of teaching Kindergarten, I am teaching Year Six. Instead of being in a classroom on my own, I am part of a team of teachers. Instead having 30 students in the class, we share 180 across the stage.
I ask God, how will I know how to do this?
In His lips I see a strand of thread. As He holds it in His mouth, focusing His eyes on the eye of the needle, He tells me that He is changing the colour of the tapestry.
Suddenly I think of my own mother. When I was young she had a huge tapestry wound around a frame so big that it rested on a stand. It was big enough to sit underneath and I remember being crossed legged on the carpet looking up at all the slugs and joins in stitches when she changed the colour of the thread. It seems for years that tapestry sat there in the corner of the lounge room, stretched out over the frame.
Every now and then, when mum was in the mood, she would do some stitches. She would choose her colours and neatly complete a part of a scene.
I said to God, “I feel just like that! After all that stitching and working and choosing of threads, and tying pieces together and joining the knots underneath – I feel like my life is complete and I don’t really know what to do anymore.
Then he showed me the tapestry again. He showed me mum’s fine hands unscrewing the edges of the frame, lifting the rods and rolling the part of picture she had embroidered and stretching out another part of the tapestry in its place.
And I heard God whisper, “Look, there is so much more and there’s a guide for you to follow. It’s the same tapestry, it’s the same canvas and it’s the same story. Life continues and there’s nothing to fear.