It was patterned by one of the students in my workshop last Friday. When I took the picture, i just thought that it was an interesting and graphic pattern. I really didn't see anything else.
Toward the end of the day, that particular student approached me and started to chat. She was pointing out some fabric she'd made and within a few minutes told me she was going through a very difficult period in her life. Based on what she told me, it's probably the most difficult time of her life. She's an elderly woman who has, in the past 4 months, been abandoned by her spouse of 38 years.
I'd like to say I can't imagine what she's going through, but that wouldn't be true. So, as best I could, I tried to comfort her by letting her know that things would get easier and that she would come out the other side having discovered amazing things about herself.
When I ran across this picture today though I was so struck by how different reality can be from our perception of reality. I remember noticing this piece of fabric, but entirely because I like text and graphic images, not because I thought someone was asking a heartfelt question of the Universe.
I'm an avid collector of quotes and little truisms and this made me think of one whose exact text I don't recall, but it basically cautions against judging others because you don't really know their journey. And that's true even if you ask a person how they are. It takes a lot of vulnerability to lay bare your soul. Most folks just say that they're fine and leave it at that.
It's actually a blessing to get to be present for someone in a moment of intense honesty. I don't think it makes anything or everything better in that moment, but you have the opportunity to be part of their healing and that is way more important than teaching them how to apply wax to pattern and dye fabric.