The tapestry lay lifeless, incomplete, yearning discovery. Yet the threads took their first breath under your guidance and care. Your fragility, its fragility, caused me dread, As I knew your existence would soon come to an end. In the small hours I drank you in, you were alive in the light of your vintage lamp. The weaving embodied the yarn of your life - the challenge, the gaps, the completion. I surveyed you the same way you searched the colours, the positions, the effects. The darkness, the motion, the hours and our moments together were your cure. The dappled light disturbed my sleep. “Never finish it!” I pleaded. I grieved for your lucidity. You framed that tapestry, and I framed your heart. I knew not of being a carer because I knew your love, so I froze it in time. And I stare down at myself now. Your soul lives on in the face you caressed, and that face beholds me with tenderness every day. You having framed me and I having framed your heart, The tapestry lives on long after you have gone, and those threads connect us.
Having grown up as a child carer for my mother who experienced schizophrenia, I was witness to my mother’s regular institutionalisation. Having learnt to navigate the complexities of my mother’s illness with a child’s curiosity and unconditional love was effortless as my mother bestowed on me every bit of love and creativity that I could absorb. Despite adults around her shunning and ostracising an elfin-sized woman with an agile mind who loved art, mathematics, and nature, she discovered a ready cure of her own. My mother spent years weaving tapestry art on canvas in the dark of night as it was her primary source of healing. Her therapy came from the inanimate threads she brought to life, and I slept beside her as the masterpieces evolved and reached completion. As a nomad, I carry those treasured canvases and have displayed them in my homes for my own healing and grounding.
A current resident of far-north Queensland, Helena works as a counsellor and psychotherapist using expressive therapies including creative writing in the form of poetry, letters, songs, journaling, memoirs and simply writing without rules. You will often find her with her clients absorbing the wonders of nature, writing with them, and drinking cups of chamomile tea in honour of her Croatian heritage.