Iconic moments reflect our a sense of aliveness. We recall a time when life felt best and brightest, fullest and deepest. Crystallized and enshrined they become icons of memory. At their best these moments become guideposts and treasured touchstones. However, if we think there is nothing beyond the moment defined by the icon, then we’re held in the past. All shrines must be tended to be made new.
Will we make these memories touchstones or dross that drowns us?
In my twenties I lived and worked in Africa for five years. This time was my widest and deepest field of dreams filled with iconic moments–that best of times. Was it just youth, as someone suggested? No, I don’t think so. It was a soul connection that infused the rest of my life with meaning, shape, and difficulty.
By returning to both Botswana and Ghana in 2008 new life shone into this enshrined past. Moving into my future was a huge creative act–one not written between the covers of a book. Life truly is our highest art.
Last night I slept under two African quilts, dreaming. I’d made one quilt in Ghana and the other in Botswana. Each is made from the fabric of that place. Each swatch in these quilts tells a story. This morning my quilted dreams lingered to nurture new iconic moments for the day.
Buy our new audio book “Sightlines: A Family Love Story in Poetry and Music” at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/janetgraceriehl.
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Read Janet’s story in The Spirit of a Woman: Stories to Empower and Inspire.