During her final full day in hospital, Kirsten received a gift from a work colleague, a special work colleague as you will realise.
Let me guide you around this quilt as a means of completing this series of vingnettes about Kirsten's 'journey'. I will come back to provide updates every-so-often, but she is into another phase now, and is getting on with it. She is aided her by her innate intelligence, and her strong mental discipline, and determination. Annette, the quilt-maker, acknowledges these personal characteristics, in the various panels of her quilt.
There are two stitched corners to the quilt, this one and another personal message from the quilter. The colour scheme is immensely pleasureable to my eye. The texture of the panels vary, with the deep green of the velvet being that which Ally responded to. The centre panel of each of the four borders contains the largest stitched messages: Dreams, Hugs, Kisses, and Laughs.
Then, scattered throughout, are further forces to sustain Kirsten over the coming weeks and months. Many of these forces Kirsten is digging deep for: patience, determination, time, family, healing, perseverance, courage, love.
As I spread the quilt on the living room floor, Ally brought her book and sat on the quilt. Not content with just sitting, she rolled around the quilt's lushness. It occured to me, as I designed this post, that had I wanted to ram home the point, I would have ensured that the Dr Seuss book that Ally was 'reading' was "Oh! The places you'll go!'.
Instead, the evening before, Darren had read through half a dozen Seuss books that Ally received for her first birthday. Her choice just happened to be the wishing for duck feet one.
Alannah, of course, is Kirsten's sustenance, sine qua non. Therefore, on Ally's behalf, I also include a rhyme from the incomparable Dr Seuss:
And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.
But on you will go though the weather be foul.
On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak.
On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems whatever they are.
You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And so, to the final verse, Verse 10, of Mr Yeats' 'A Prayer for my Daughter'. Yeats completed this poem in June 1919, and it was included in the 1921 collection: 'Michael Robartes and the Dancer'.
|And may her bridgegroom bring her to a house
Where all's accustomed, ceremonious;
For arrogance and hatred are the wares
Peddled in the thoroughfares.
How but in custom and in ceremony
Are innocence and beauty born?
Ceremony's a name for the rich horn,
And custom for the spreading laurel tree.