BY: Jennifer Angarano-Ricci – “Ms. Happy, Alive & Built to Survive”
“My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue
An everlasting vision of the ever-changing view
A wondrous woven magic in bits of blue and gold
A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold
-from Tapestry by CaroleKing
I LOVE going to the Met Cloisters and seeing the tapestries hanging, especially the unicorn ones. I’ve even seen the Bayeux Tapestry in France. They’re hundreds of years old, and yet, there they are- still beautiful, still hanging. How do tapestries from the Middle Ages still hang on walls today? Well first, they were made with great care and talent. The threads were made and dyed by hand, and expert weavers worked for years to tell the stories that we see in the brilliant images. Secondly, they’ve been maintained for all generations to view and admire. So it is with each of our lives- we all take the yarns we’re given, and weave tapestries that will last for generations to admire and learn from. It is up to each of us to be the expert weavers, and create our own stories that will last.
Every experience, in my opinion, is a thread- and we are constantly weaving and adding to the tapestries of our lives. Each joy, each sorrow, each triumph, and each failure are ALL part of who we are and WHO we become. People sometimes try to hide their pains or failures or make up stories to change how others think of them-but the true threads are always there, and the false ones will eventually wear away.
I like to think of experiences as colors- that helps me to visualize the tapestry concept. Happy experiences are reds, oranges, greens. Losses are muted colors, like grays, and dark blues. The most joyful experiences, like my marriage and the birth of my daughter, are golds, silvers and gorgeous shimmering threads. My cancer diagnosis, and subsequent treatment, in addition to kicking cancer’s ass, is a thick, bright pink thread- strong and bold to never let me forget how strong I am. Even seasons get threaded into my personal tapestry: Winter, Christmastime especially, is a beautiful red and gold braided thread to remind me that there is always hope and joy. Spring is a silver and green thread that lets me always see the possibility of new beginnings. What colors are in YOUR tapestry?
Most times, we cannot see what our tapestry looks like- because we’re so involved with weaving. It’s like we can only look at the back of it, and from there it seems impossible that we’re doing something good! As we all know, though, if we put forth the work, and weave with quality threads- the end product will be something to be proud of.
“It will be very interesting one day to follow the pattern of our life as it is spread out like a beautiful tapestry. As long as we live here we see only the reverse side of the weaving, and very often the pattern, with its threads running wildly, doesn’t seem to make sense. Someday, however, we shall understand.”
― Maria von Trapp
My wish for all of you in this Holiday season is to weave new colors into your personal tapestry, and to inspire others to add vibrant colors to their own life stories, by passing along kindness, compassion, and friendship to all. Peace and love to each of you.
“Time unfolds beauty, wonder, and mystery to reveal the auspicious tapestry of life.”
― A.D. Posey
Jennifer Angarano Ricci is a wife, mother & creative soul-searcher. She is a musician, artist, and baker, and runs her home business Baked By Jen, in addition to running her local community theater group. She loves to sing, create and help others, and tries to connect all three passions whenever possible.