For Thursday’s homework (so due next Tuesday), I am asking you to go to the net and search out a single image that can stand for your six-word autobiography, an image that sums up what you are saying/doing/living/being in your memoir right now.
Since I do not want you to be confused or lost on this assignment, I am going to “think through” this assignment in reference to my own six-word memoir in this post.
We were asked in faculty orientation to come up with a six-word autobiography. I do this with my class every year and so I thought it would be a lot of fun, and it was. What I came up with this year, though, is significantly different than what I have written before; that is because I am in a new set of circumstances that has greatly impacted both my life and the way I see what is going on in my life.
So, as you know, I came up with “Connections: God’s grace in disparate experiences.” I did not mean this only in regards to connections of people in my life, though that is certainly one aspect of it. And it was an aspect I felt comfortable expressing. So that is what I wrote in my blog post explanation.
When I began to write my blog post, I knew that I was going to have to come up with an image and I was okay with that. I imagined brightly colored hot air balloons or a pinwheel would be most appropos.
However, as I wrote, tapestry and weaving came up. This was not something I consciously sat down and thought about, but obviously connections come from somewhere. If I were gifted in one area or another, I might have come up with “gears on a car” or “beads on a string” or “flocks of birds.” As a medievalist, tapestry and weaving have made an impact on my studies and my teaching, though, and that is what came up in my writing.
So, I googled tapestry.
The very first image that caught my attention was this one from myjourneyoftrust.com:
The author/poster had written about God weaving our lives together.
Obviously this is not a unique idea and the image is a good one.
But I was not perfectly content with the image, so I kept looking.
The second image that grabbed me was one on Wikipedia, about the adoration of the Magi:
Since I believe that God designed our lives to lead us to Christ, and I want my life to be heading towards Christ, this was a good choice as well. Another good thing about this image is that the colors are beautiful. I love color and I enjoy being surrounded with color.
But I still wasn’t convinced that this was the perfect image. After all, who am I to say that I am a “wise man still seek[ing] Him?” And it did look very old fashioned.
So I kept looking.
What I liked immediately about this image is the colors. As I mentioned, I love color. And I like bright colors. And I especially like blue. (I am not so fond of yellow, but it was my mother’s favorite color and I am happy to see it and remember the best times of our journey together.)
I like the fact that it is “busy” and hard to follow immediately. My life is often like that.
I like the fact that there are fantastical images in the work, since I read and enjoy fantasy. Or perhaps the women are supposed to be angels instead of fairies and three is my favorite number. Perhaps they are representative of those who have passed through my life and are no longer in it, in which case they may be women who shaped me in my life. In fact, I have written a poem about three women in my life–my mother and my grandmothers–and there are three females flying about this tapestry. The poem I wrote ends:
There are more.
They are more.
But these three women shaped me.
And while I did not immediately choose this image for the flying ladies, I love that they are there. In fact, many of the images match up with things in my life, creating a tapestry of connections… of disparate experiences… and, of course, of God’s grace in connecting them together in an amazing whole that is my life.