Opening the Patra vessel on a special day
From mother to daughter, a meaningful exchange.
i gave my mother the the book, the art of pilgrimage, the summer of 2013. that october she had a serious stroke. pre-stroke my mother was an active, vivacious 81 year old woman. she was a reader, an accomplished knitter, a creator and artist, a gardener and lover of beauty, a competitive bridge-player, and an active hiker. the stroke did not impact her physical activity although she can no longer drive. what she lost was her independence and her ability to speak clearly and understand or make sense out of numbers and letters. she can no longer knit, play bridge or engage with her creative side and it is a source of sadness and grief for her. she struggles to read and is unable to write her thoughts down on paper.
she was devouring the pilgrimage book that fall. home from the hospital, we would read her passages. she slowly began to attempt to find words that touched her soul on her own. together, we made an “altered book” with cut pictures and fabric, baubles and braided ribbon. she would remember words written and we would take hours to find them. she cut the pilgrimage book apart – she shredded it as part of her healing process, and glued those words into her own version of a pilgrimage, her own book of o journey. at the same time, she received one of the vessels from Lynda. it sat on the kitchen counter, as on an alter as we talked about it being a sacred container for her journey of grief and loss, healing and recovery. A vessel to hold memories that were slipping away.
it is profound and powerfully poignant to walk with her as she rediscovers what is important in her life and how she can begin to express herself again. she cannot find the words to tell her journey, to share the depth of meaning that has come to her through the patra passage and her own pilgrimage, yet there is a deep, deep imprint on her life that is influencing how she is experiencing not only the changes in her life but how she will face the end of her life. words changed her. the vessel changed her. as her daughter, i am changed. the vessel was passed to my daughter with the hope that she, as well, will know the power of pilgrimage through grief and sorrow to the healing place of release and freedom.
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