Welcome to my online journal for 2011.

This space is to be a receptacle for my experiences and responses to the quest to create Meagheen's Irish cape aka "A Connaught Girl's Story."
Meggie has designed a large knitted cape with layers of meanings, crafted stitching in traditional designs imbued with specific symbolism of the history of Ireland, the heritage of her family, and her own personal life as well. As she publishes each element of the pattern she provides an explanation of the meanings. This blog will have my series of responses to this two-way labor of love.

Feel free to comment.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Help from the Other Side - Angels

Some 13 years ago I had an intense spiritual experience while reading the Bible that made me suddenly aware of some of the help I have gotten throughout my life from the unseen world.    Now I understand how it is that the people we go through life with, sometimes in the most intense ways, are bonded to us not only in the here and now, but in the before and after as well.

I honor and give thanks to my oldest son.  Before he was born while I was yet a teen, he was my childhood guardian angel and a pre-life mentor.  And I am grateful to my late-in-life daughter who appeared to me in dreams on at least 7 distinct occasions before she was ever conceived.  My mother has to be one of the most important angels because was my most fervent angel while she was on earth, in spite of my rebelliousness. And my mother again, who must be so busy with her own business in the afterlife, has to be laughing at my petty mistakes, stupid secrets, and wholehearted blunders.  I am certain I have other friends on the other side watching over me, encouraging me to find my path, warning me of mistakes in advance. 

Guardian angels, wisdom angels, messengers from God.  I believe personal progress and salvation is not left to us to navigate without help.   Earth life is too important for there not to be witnesses, guardians, advisers, and protectors as we sometimes flail about in confusion.  The enemy is constantly spreading confusion and lies.   Sometimes I hear your clear voices of warning or strong advice in my head that could not come from me.  What a comfort to know that the Still Small Voice of God and His messengers and guides are not giving up on me.

Thank you, everyone. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

On the subject of Gifts -

This blog is inspired by Meagheen's beautiful gift of creativity, love, devotion, and rememberance in tribute to  her Irish identity and family's heritage.  I am among a hundred or so knitters who are toiling away at an elaborate hooded cape in a twelve month project that will tell the story of this hardworking, brilliant, devoted and loving young lady, and her family and her country in the symbols and patterns.  Part one was the hearts entwined edging on the hood that will go around the face of the wearer.

Part two is the body of the hood.  I have elected to make the boxes patterns in honor of Meggie's mother who in her poverty, set aside a little box in her closet for each child and put small items specifically for each child in the box so when the birthday came, there would be a special gift-giving celebration in honor of the child, acknowledging each child as special and important, in a family with well over 20 birth children.

One way we connect with others is with gifts.  Gifts are not always material things, but are freely given from the heart.  When I have gratitude in my heart the most natural thing in the world is to give.  Without love behind it giving can be less than a blessing, to the giver at least.  Teaching children to be generous and thoughtful is often the other way around.  We teach them the duty, speak of the joys, and they proceed to discover for themselves about love and gratitude and connection.

Knitting the boxes pattern has reminded me of the many blessings in my life.  The investments others have made in me, for which I may or may not have been adequately grateful, have percolated up through the shadows of my past into memory.  My family members, my teachers, my friends, acquaintances and perfect strangers have given of their time, their substance, their knowledge, their resources, their networks to enable me to get to where I am now.  The most trivial of gifts are the ones in wrapping paper.  But where there is caring, relationship, and love, almost always these are a small punctuation, a solid reminder, of the gifts of time, thought, pleasure, wisdom, healing or any of a million intangible gifts that have been antecedent, on both sides.

I like to make handmade tokens of love.  As I make something I usually know to whom it will go.  I put all my attentions on that person as I work, keeping a prayer in my heart for their well-being, that God will work in their life, that my friendship and gift will be blessings to them.

Last year around this time I made a flying pink piglet with little white wings.  This was on a whim, and for "credit" in a fun virtual knitting group for themed knits.  Shortly after starting it I decided to give it to my new friend Dianne. I didn't know her very well yet, but wanted to let her know I cared as she was going through a difficult time in her personal life.  So I prayed for her, and knitted, and struggled to make it look okay.

When I gave her the tiny little flying piggy she unwrapped it and actually screamed.  It seemed this symbol had a deep personal meaning to her.  She cried.  She hugged me.  She asked how did I know.  (I didn't, and still am a bit confused as to what she means by it.)  She took it to work and displays it on top of her computer monitor.  Just a few weeks ago she told me she still keeps it there and loves it, and looks at it every day, and thanked me again.  That is not the last thing I gave her, but the meaning of gift giving seems to go well beyond the prosaic, and is a deeply spiritual principle.

The gift for which I am most deeply and truly grateful is the Son of God.  He gave me His love, His life, and has subsumed all my flaws, cares, defects, sins and rebellions in His perfect sacrifice. He loves me personally as no other.  He knows me personally as no other. He has carried me through mortality and I pray that my love for Him will be evident and that I will turn away from Him no more. Amen.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hearts entwined

I have always felt that I was a loner, quite isolated even in a family setting.  Now that I have more than five decades of memories and experience I can see the true connections that have pulled me, drawn on me, and completely enhanced my life in spite of my prickly persona. 

All her life my mother gave me everything she had.  Heart and soul.  I know that her heartstrings were always embedded within me whether I acknowledged that fact or not.  She was there for me at all times even though as a child and young adult I spent an inordinate amount of energy pushing her away.

One of my sons has been with me in much the same way since before he was born.  Since forming his own family my awareness has diminished, but he will always be my mentor, as he has always been. 

There are several friends with whom I am so emotionally enmeshed that, at least, I always know they are going to call before the phone rings.  I thank God for the blessing of caring and love.  That as I was promised, I will always have friends where ever I go.