Published in Curating Beautiful Conversations 2017
She walked with the heart of an angel
hidden beneath what she thought
was just a stalk of flesh and bone
for which no one cared.
She might not remember much
of her tumultuous childhood
but she revels in telling stories
about how she learned
to weave before she could read,
how she had a knowing of arranging
complex patterns by the age of twelve.
And she was like no one
I’ve ever encountered.
Her hands thickened by the weight of life
had an intuition for making beauty
working with dazzling precision
eye and hand flowing in oneness
weaving paper-thin strips of bamboo
into treasures that delight the senses.
She owed the bamboo everything she had –
the enduring resilience she learned
from the tall and slender trees
the grit and stamina she inherited
from hardy canes that nourished her land,
the hope she gained from the forests that
sheltered her in dreadful times,
the gift of creating with her hands.
She was, after all, the child of the bamboo land
and of the stars, her mastery was in her essence
everything that taught her to survive
was now teaching her to believe,
she felt no longer a stalk of flesh and bone
but a temple for the symphony of the divine
for which everyone cared.
To a weaver in Laos