This “Sunshine Amid the Storm” mandala comes to us from artist Melissa in Canada (on Instagram @mknyveld). She writes, “This mandala symbolizes my struggle from suicide attempt, to putting my life back together slowly. I didn’t think it was possible, but to make with my hands continues to help bring light on dark days.”
“My story is similar to Marinke’s. I attempted suicide just a few months before Marinke did. I have had bipolar, and have struggled with its depression for years. I picked up crochet while on a leave of absence from work. I discovered Marinke’s blog shortly before she died and then, like the rest of the world, was stunned.
“My mandala’s colors are about how my depression and subsequent healing have progressed. The center is very dark and stormy. And when I began to move out of depression towards healing, it wasn’t all good. There was a lot of chaos before the colour got lighter. And even then, things can get dark again – but they don’t last as long that way. What I really notice is that the sunny colors stand out the most against the darker ones, and it may not always be smooth sailing, but centrifugal force always pulls you back out. I’ve learned to keep moving. It’s not always easy – but there are so many people out there willing to help.
Thank you for doing this for people like Marinke and me.”
I just want to say thank you back – to Melissa and to every other participant in this project. I have been posting these contributions nearly daily for about ten months now. The creativity and compassion and insight and heartfelt crafting continue to amaze me. I sometimes get in a rut and get overwhelmed by all there is to do and think to myself, “oh man, I need to post the mandalas” and it feels like a chore … until I sit down to do it and then every single time I am touched again by the immense emotion that each of you has poured into this project. Every single time I go to photograph the mandalas and write up their stories and create these posts, I am humbled. I am but a small part of this project, really, because it is only through each of you that this work has happened. And every time I write another post, I am amazed … I laugh and I cry as I write them, and I feel so, so, so connected to this big, deep, wide world of humanity. Thank you, each of you, truly.