LIFE AS A TAPESTRY

Have you ever seen a Medieval tapestry?

The type used to keep drafts out by hanging on the walls?

At this stage in the game due to age, wear and tear, the tapestry may be a bit threadbare here and there, faded wherever the sun of days long gone lit on it, but the beauty of it – the magnificence – remains.

I have a passion for Medieval art, btw.

As for life as a tapestry…

In my bio I write My life is a tapestry.  That’s how I look at it.  There are imperfections in the threads and sometimes light shining on it may reveal something different than what people might have thought but it’s colorful and unique and – the material woven in such a way as that there is strength.

I recently had a conversation in which I used this metaphor to help a teen see the silver thread in the grey section he’d recently weaved…

Not long into the summer he took a spill that left him with an arm broken in two places. For a long time he couldn’t drive and he lost his job which required the use of both.

After expressing my condolences I explained that this was part of the tapestry of his life and that when he’s a dad?  His kids are going to listen with eyes like saucers to the story that their dad fell while riding a skateboard and broke his arm!

“You dad?  You were on a skateboard?!”

A ghost of a smile came and went and it was obvious he hadn’t considered it like that.

We all should.

The Forest for the Trees

I’ll be the first in line of those who have failed to see the bigger picture because when you’re in a cesspit it’s hard to see the silver thread but…it’s there.

The Pandemic and Kids

I have lost count of the times I’ve considered what heroes the kids of the world are.  Everyone’s so busy talking about teachers and YES they are pandemic heroes but they are adults!  They have resources available to them to help them through, not the least of which is life experience.

Something kids don’t necessarily have and it becomes more difficult the further back in childhood you go.

I think back to what my life was like at that point in time – age-wise – to those I was most familiar with

Teens

For one thing I’d just had my first class in computers on an Apple IIe.

I like to tell my kids I grew up when the abacus was the computer though I did do punch card computing while working at Oakland Hills Country Club.

I considered how the school administration put everything online so kids could get the best experience possible given what they had to work with.

Then considered how my mother and I -poor as church mice at that point in time – could not afford cable, let alone a modem [aka the Internet].

Recognizing such needs the local school offered free Wi-Fi so students could sit in the family car and connect for free.

Which makes parents and older siblings driving to the schools so the kids could do so heroes too.

I don’t think my community would have had the resources to do the like

For a variety of reasons

which led to thinking about…

The seniors whose lives had just gone off the rails.

  • What would happen to college applications?
  • What happened if they were vying for a scholarship in sports or the arts?

Time and again I watched kids step up to the plate filming themselves and sending the video to colleges that couldn’t have them come and audition because of shutdowns. 

And watched the owners of studios offer their spaces upon appointment so they could do so.

I heard stories of teens setting up studios in their homes to try and keep up the dancing or other activity

And parents giving up their home offices to be turned into those studios.

Which circles to…

Who are you and what have you done with my parents?

It wasn’t only kids that were kept at home.  Parents who were used to being away from their kids for hours while they worked were suddenly sharing a home 24/7 with them.

In one case the dad was a homicide detective who still went to work and thus slept odd hours.  His kids were both talented dancers – one going for a scholarship to Juliard.  When was he supposed to practice that wouldn’t wake his dad if the hours were continually changing? They made it work.

I heard stories of parents shoving desks into the front entryway and other nooks and crannies as they tried to accomodate but those kids had to accomodate the parents as much as the parents were doing for them.

Imagine living in a small flat in Europe or Japan or Australia or a small apartment or condo in the US?  Those kids weren’t any happier at being in a squirrel hutch previously used primarily for sleeping any more than their parents were.

It only becomes a squirrel hutch when circumstances mean the walls close in.

These are the events that are the threads of the tapestry.  

And yet…

The same event may have spawned the thread but the tapestry of youth is not the tapestry of adulthood and in this, youth have a distinct advantage.

Adults are generally used to stability so when the silver thread appears they view it with horror.

Whereas kids are more likely to say “Oh, another one?”

Kids only start viewing these threads with horror after seeing the adults in their lives do so.

Heard plenty of stories of adults paving the way as best they could along with stories of how some adults weren’t handling it which put more of a burden on the inexperienced to take up the slack and run with it.

The tapestry

Because of the pandemic and the contuing fallout from it, kids in our world are getting a brilliant opportunity to see how well – or not – the world handled the global adversity.

At the end of the day the silver is there.  It’s the place of honor it gets in the tapestry that makes the difference…

Look for the silver in your tapestry

Admire and value the beauty

Be well

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