Inevitably, during one of the many fascinating discussions around the dinner table when I was growing up, someone would gesture too broadly and knock over a wine glass. Before the person even had a chance to apologize, my Mom would whoop and holler with joy, "Whoa! Look at that! It's good luck!" and she would mop up the mess, and refill the glass.
She was so convincing, the individual would suddenly beam with pride at being the wine-glass-knocker-overer who brought good luck to everyone. Better yet if the wine glass stem would break. Mom would see that as an opportunity to turn it over and turn it into a bell, right there at the table.
I was thinking about my Mom last night, and was missing her something fierce. She could always turn a horrible moment into something magical. It's the way she lived her life and created her art. She called her sculptures "scrapture," because she would create the foundation for her sculptures out of junk such as old bottles, boxes, cans, newspaper, etc., and then used scraps of yarn, fabric, buttons, and more to make the sculpture come to life. Nothing (not even a dried up paintbrush) ever went to waste.
Well, last night I was having a horrible moment. For whatever reason, I seem to be going through a never-ending life review these days, especially around 3:00am, and it never includes memories of happy picnics in the park, a first kiss, or playing music with my family. Nope. Instead, every random and horrific memory imaginable is being dredged up for me to review in minute detail, and it's exhausting. Last night, I just wanted my mommy. "Mom, why are these memories haunting me?" I said aloud in a sleepy voice.
I wasn't really expecting an answer. (For those of you who don't know, my Mom passed away in 2012.) I haven't felt Mom around in quite awhile. But, last night she answered loud and clear, "Because those were some of the most successful moments of your life!" Huh? Successful? I was perplexed. "They shaped your life, Summy. You wouldn't be the person you are today without the spousal abuse, for example. Rejoice that you've had those experiences. Isn't a diamond formed under great pressure?" In just seconds, my whole perspective changed. Imagine feeling grateful--even joyful!--at being a survivor of spousal abuse. Only Mom could take those horrific visions and turn them into beautiful bells ringing in the beginning of a renewed, happier, stronger life!
By gathering up those horrific visions--those scraps of life--and putting a little love and gratitude in the equation, I now have beautiful scrapture.
It's nice to know that no part of life is ever truly really wasted.