Today’s Mandalas for Marinke contribution comes to us from Kirstie in the UK who shares, “I’m a 37 year old mother, air traffic engineer, and post-natal depression survivor.” She has a private Instagram account @krjt1011 and a blog called Wine Makes Mummy Clever, where she has shared some of her own journey through post-natal depression. This crochet mandala is made using Wink’s I Love Holland mandala pattern.
“I found Wink’s blog when I was looking for mandala patterns for the Yarndale 2014 Mandalas project. I resonated with her words about how crochet saved her life.
I chose to contribute to this Mandalas for Marinke project because crochet (and the friendships / community that go with it) saved mine, too.
I had post-natal depression. I still do. It never really goes. I’m always so aware of my emotions, feelings and reactions to things in case it comes out of the shadows.
I’m slowly coming off my meds. I REFUSE TO SINK.
Thinking of you Wink. Your work is an inspiration and your creative legacy lives on.”
When she first heard the news about Wink, Kirstie had also written on her blog,
“Even though I only “knew” Wink through her blog, this news has really impacted me. It seems impossible that someone so vibrant, creative and colorful could succumb to the darkness like this. It just goes to show you never really really know what someone else is going through.”
For the depression awareness portion of the project today, I want to share a passage from the book Animal Wisdom: Learning from the Spiritual Lives of Animals by Linda Bender. I had mixed feelings about this book but got a lot of value out of reading it. In this passage, she’s writing about a time when she found the heartbreak of her work as an animal activist to be so heartbreaking.
“In his book The Hope, Andrew Harvey recounts the suicide of a friend who had devoted her life to working with indigenous peoples threatened by the destruction of the Amazon rain forest. In a letter to him shortly before her death, she had written,
The very thing that drove me to do my work – my conscience – has become an unendurable agony to me. In a world descending into barbarism, having a conscience is like having leprosy; it eats you away. Forgive me. I cannot bear the pain of loving the world anymore.
What shocked Harvey most about her suicide was that her deep spirituality and altruistic love of the world had not protected her from despair, but had in fact been the cause of that despair. His belief that his own spiritual life would render him immune to suicidal feelings was shaken, and within weeks he found himself teetering on the same precipice. He writes:
I began the morning calm and focused, but after two hours of reading about polluted landscapes, ruined rivers, and the deaths of thousands of innocent villagers (while fat-cat CEPs were drinking champagne in Lagos), I began to feel sick to my stomach. I thought I needed some air, so I walked out onto Lexington Avenue.
I stood on the sidewalk, suddenly invaded by the mad noise of city traffic hurtling past, by the cold horror of what I had been reading. For one blinding moment, all I wanted was to step out into the traffic and be run over. It took all the strength I had to restrain myself.
He goes on to say that he is now grateful for that moment, not only because it helped him to share in his friend’s pain, but because it forever ended his belief that spirituality would render him invulnerable to such feelings.”