“Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya:, a Sanskrit proverb which translates as “Keep me not in the Darkness (of ignorance), but lead me towards the Light (0f Spiritual Knowledge)”. This is the inspiration behind the colors used in making these twelve mandalas.
Through the use of varying colors ranging from the darker to lighter, I am trying to trace the depression cycle with its transition from darkness to light. Note that in some mandalas, lightness and darkness coexist, and sometimes making peace with that is the best we can do with our lives.
I was diagnosed with clinical depression in 2008. While I had been an avid knitter since childhood, I took up crochet only in 2014, while battling one of the worst depressive episodes in my life. I found that using my hands in making complex patterns with colored yarns kept my mind busy and repressed a lot of negative thoughts. Simply put, crochet uplifted my spirits like nothing before that. In the two years since I learned to crochet, I have made hundreds of items, and used many of Wink’s patterns. It broke my heart to hear of her demise, and reminded me once again about the importance of vigilance and support when it comes to depression.
Depression is cunning. Weeks and months sometimes pass when I feel normal and light hearted, but then suddenly, for no rhyme or reason, with no warning, I plunge into darkness. My heart becomes heavy, and my brain goes foggy and forgets what light feels like. It is like sinking into quicksand or diving into a black hole with so much drag, you cannot imagine every rising out of it again. Crochet has always been by my side through this period. It does not judge me. It does not attempt to comfort me. It does not mock my weak attempts to regain control of my life. Crochet just rides the waves of pain and blankness with me, and we ride the tides to the calm shores eventually. Through this contribution I hope we raise awareness for mental illness and also encourage my fellow depression-afflicted woulds to get that crochet needle going. Where there is a crochet hook, there is hope.
Visit all Mandalas for Marinke posts, not only to see beautiful crochet mandalas, but also to learn more information about mental health issues including depression.