The Passage

Paradisaea n:0 28 // The Miracle Collection
Warp: Hand painted lyocell (tencel)
Weft: Speckle dyed skinny superwash merino wool dyed by Kaisa
About 470 cm x 75 cm STIH
Blunt ends
Plainweave selvedges

*

"I am not afraid...
I was born to do this."

- Joan of Arc

Ebb and flow.
My task now
is to grow
and diminish -

to grow
and diminish.

I stretch.
I stretch over my boundaries
until it hurts;
you leave marks in me
of all the things where I’ve had to grow.

Ebb
and flow.

I am forced to change.
I used to think I was in control of things
and now I’m stripped of all control
as I’m stripped bare
of so many things.

This cannot be done without pain.
I sense you searching for your way into the world
and in order for you to grow
I must stretch
body and mind.

I must go to where pain is
and trough it
once again.

So I grow.
We grow, you making me a full sphere,
growing like the moon grows
full and glowing for a short moment
until it’s time for me to diminish
growing empty
trough pain.

It’s so strange to be going trough this again
the ebb
and the flow.

But the things I’ll gain are so much more glorious;
your presence
your existence

worth
every
scar

*

My mind is slowly turning towards it again. In a few months it’ll be inevitable, and the thought is making a nest for itself in my mind, wishing to get me oriented in time.

It’s so strange that there’s so much pain involved in creating a new human being. The beauty and the pain, they go hand in hand, one cannot be without the other.

This thing is going to hurt in the end, and I’m slowly starting to deal with it.

Motherhood does funny things to us. I find myself marvelling at it again; how it forces us to grow, and then grow small again. This thing is something that just happens to us, there is so little we can control. I am a fellow passenger, we are on this together, me and the baby. She grows. I grow. I stretch. In body and in mind. In the end I need to stretch quite a bit so that she may enter the world. And even after it I need to keep stretching, in mind and soul, for her to be who she is.

Giving birth is surely one of the most extreme experiences there is, no matter how it’s done. We cannot control it, or usually not. One day it just starts to happen and we need to go with it, we are whisked away on the torrent, and at some point after it we’ll have a newborn resting on our breast and we won’t be quite sure how we got there. Motherhood makes things somehow… so primitive. We are pushed back to the nature inside of us, the primitive and instinctive that is something below our minds and understanding. Navigating childbirth may be strange because sometimes our conscious mind kind of checks out and we’re left with the ancient mother in us; the instincts, the emotions, the whirlwind of creation.

There’s so much joy there. It’s simply amazing. We give birth to life!
Sometimes deliveries can be so joyful, amazing, empowering, fascinating. And then again sometimes they might be a bit different.

Hopefully in the end most deliveries turn to empowering memories. It might be that there’s confusion, however, when we’re in the middle of it. Helplessness, fear even. Disappointment is maybe not rare; if things don’t go the way we’d have wished. It’s all too easy to measure ourselves based on how we’ve “succeeded” in a delivery - although it’s an oxymoron. No-one “succeeds” there. We just survive, in a way or another. All forms of delivery are equally glorious, as they give birth to life. Think of it! We GIVE birth. What a gift to give!
But the mass of emotion may be quite overwhelming.

And then there’s always the pain we need to come to terms with; no matter whether it was a “normal” delivery or a c-section of something else. Pain is involved. It’s funny how it changes your perspective. After giving birth to our firstborn I remember looking at women in a new way. “She’s been there too! And she! They all know what it is like!” The experience might change us; giving birth to something sombre in our souls. Good, but serious. It is a pathway that brings us to a new kind of scenery; something rather unfathomable previously:
how it is even possible to endure such pain
and experience such love afterwards.

After all the feelings involved.

I’m fascinated about how this is something that links us all together, to the first mother who ever walked the earth. We’re all equals there. Same kind of awed passengers. We’re a bit more equipped to face the challenge of childbirth today, but the process is essentially the same as it has always been. Just hopefully more safe nowadays.

There’s something very… profound in it.
Something serious and good,
something transcendent, transformative.

Something holy,
surely.
To be able to participate in the Miracle of creating new life must be sacred.

The thought of all this has been lingering in my mind as I’ve been weaving the last piece of the Miracle. It’s woven with speckle dyed skinny merino wool; tiny dots of pinks and yellow on white.

White is in many cultures the colour for new life; for a new start, and for something that is pure and innocent. In the spiritual culture that is my growing ground white represents a certain kind of holiness; freshness, a new beginning. It’s used in the moments when someone transitions from one life phase into another. In baptism, in confirmation ceremonies, in weddings. I wanted to have a white base for this last piece, marking the life change birth means for both the baby and the mother.

And then again I wanted to add tiny dots of colour. Flashes of red - maybe I was thinking of contractions? How they come and go, uncontrolled. And a bit of yellow, for the joy that bursts to the mind of the mother, here and there, even in the midst of the chaos.

This last piece carries the name “The Passage”. A passage is an entryway, or the action of moving forward, or the right to go forward. It’s also the transition from one place of existence into another. Something delivery does to both; the mother and the baby.