I believe some level of healing is always possible, given time and the right circumstances. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be working in this area. Even as a child I think I was trying to help others to heal, by trying to make them laugh, bringing them posies from the garden or giving them hugs. I also tried to resolve conflict between people I love.
My Gran was a great knitter, but I never remember her knitting anything for my Dad. she knitted my sister and I Aran jumpers & Dad asked if there was any wool left for one for him. She just snorted at him. So I was very surprised to find a cardigan she had knitted him and decided to keep it as it was such a mystery. I tried to throw it out recently but took it back out of the bag destined for the charity shop. There was good will between them when it was knitted and maybe I could use that positive energy to undo some of the negativity that was so evident between them growing up. I recently made it into a cushion incorporating photos and some of the lines of a poem I wrote about it, while trying to figure out why I’d hung on to it. After painting her as the villain of the piece I felt maybe I’d been unfair, so I added an elephant with it’s trunk up. She collected them and thought they brought good luck. It couldn’t hurt.
Here is the poem.
Between the Stitches
I pulled it from the middle of a pile of clothes discarded.
Porridge coloured, innocuous, enduring yarn entwined.
Barely worn, pushed to the back, twenty years before
Not my colour, sleeves too short, but I sense there’s something there,
Caught between the stitches, in the pockets and the seams.
So I wore it and I bore it.
I marvelled at what passed between these enemies that time.
Mother-in-Law, Son-in-Law, the Law must be obeyed.
My Mother gained her freedom on her wedding day, unleashed.
But her mother’s fingers they are long, and reach towards her still.
Her apron strings hang useless, severed from years of patient gnawing.
And so she knits, needles tutting,
Her panic, rage, her bitter bile.
She has lost.
She knits her love, her grief, her torment real,
Her blind refusal to accept
It’s not a very happy story that my cushion tells but my intention is that some ancestral healing will take place because of my focus on the energy between us all and this “story.” The “story” is that my Gran disapproved of my Dad and spent a lifetime criticising & picking fights with him. This probably pushed my parents closer together. Who knows what her real intention was.
After finishing the cushion with the photos and words inside the cardigan, you have to unbutton the front to see them, it dawned on me that this was one of Gran’s rules. Don’t air your dirty laundry in public. It was totally sub-conscious.