The exquisite crochet mandala that you see here today is from Janice Davey who created it using the butterfly peacock crochet mandala pattern by Wink.
Janice didn’t know about Wink’s work until after she died but she saw this tribute and says that she is thankful that it allowed her to become aware of what she created. She says that although she didn’t know her work before, and she’s so saddened about her death, she’s glad that the project exists to raise awareness about depression.
She beautifully adds,
“The eyes are the windows of the soul. In her online photos, Wink seems to have a twinkle in her eye.”
For the depression awareness portion of today’s post, I wanted to share a book that I’ve started reading called The Beautiful Unseen: A Memoir by Kyle Boelte. The author’s brother died by suicide at age 16 when the author was 13. This is his book about the ways in which he remembers and forgets his brother, as he digs back through the history and tries to remember anew. These memories are juxtaposed with parallel chapters in which he writes about the fog of San Francisco, and I find the impact of this juxtaposition to be amazingly powerful and meaningful.
There’s something about the weaving in and out of the two different aspects of the book that makes sense to me on an almost visceral level. When we have difficult memories, they often come in bursts, and they are intermingled with the regular, mundane, everydayness of our lives. When we try to remember painful things directly, it all becomes foggy. The author is both explicit about this and metaphorical about it and this makes the telling of the story more real somehow.
This is a book about being a survivor of a loved one’s suicide, specifically an older sibling, which leaves its own unique imprint on the child’s life, especially since it happened at the author’s vulnerable age of 13. It is a book about memory, and about how the memories of childhood are confusing to us in adulthood, not quite the truth of what happened and not quite not the truth either. He writes, “trying to remember is often a good way not to remember”.
The author notes early on that the memory of the older sibling who died freezes the relationship. He writes,
“When I think of Kris, he is older than me still … When I see Kris, I sense someone older than me. The seeing and the sensing overlap. I do not know what the sensing is, simply that I feel it. As I grow older, Kris grows older too. He is my older brother still. We age together at a constant rate. Or, perhaps, when I think of him, I become younger.”
And he writes in another chapter,
“One day I looked up and realized I no longer knew what Kris’s voice sounded like. I had been holding on to it like a photograph in a pocket close to the chest. But it gradually slipped. And then one day it was gone. I forgot the voice but never forgot the day I lost it.”
I’m not done with the book, yet, but I’m touched by it so far. It’s a book about teen suicide; the brother died after being suspended at school for selling LSD. It’s a book about a sibling survivor the death by suicide of an older brother. It’s a book about the forever-changed relationship between the surviving sibling and his parents. It’s a book about memory, and how that memory is altered by grief and pain. And it’s a book about fog. So much fog.