Tears are my favorite medium. I like sad movies, sad books, sad songs. When my friends cry during a deep conversation I feel like I’m winning because it’s a glimpse to see their true heart, the one that’s often hidden, protected. Grief is real. Life is filled with pain and I like to see it reflected back to me, to help me make sense of my own story.
I read a book recently for the first time that explored this. Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry quickly soared to the top of my 3 favorite books of all time. It’s the story of Port William beloved, twice-widowed, Hannah who in her late 70’s, looks back on her life, “the great continuum of love and memory, grief and strength”.
This book, now stained black and blue as I tried to keep quotes, has stuck with me. One in particular:
“What is the thread that holds it all together? Grief, I thought for a while. And grief is there sure enough, just about all the way through. From the time I was a girl I have never been far from it. But grief is not a force and has no power to hold. You only bear it. Love is what carries you, for it is always there, even in the dark, or most in the dark, but shining out at times like gold stitches in a piece of embroidery.”
I wanted to capture these words, revisit them regularly. One of my best friends, Cate Miller, is a talented artist. I’ve always loved her work and wanted a piece in our home, but couldn’t decide what. This quote was the answer.
Cate delivered big time. I love this piece with my whole heart! It hangs in our dining room and I can see it all day long. Thank you, Cate, for knowing me and loving me well. Thank you for trusting me with your laughter and tears and for giving me space to share mine too. I love you!