My Father’s Rug

Gail Warner, MA, MFT, is heart healer and hearth keeper of a small retreat center called Pine Manor, a gathering place and creative canvas for therapists, body workers, artists, energy healers, musicians, spiritual teachers, poets and writers. Gail’s vision, along with her invitational and collaborative style, has allowed people from all walks of life to deepen their connection with self and others in this sacred space. Gail has been a psychotherapist for more than forty years. She has accompanied others through the inner journey of unfolding inquiry, grief, discovery and transformation. She has offered countless retreats that provide time to step outside the demands of life and focus on what really matters through self-reflection and creative processes that include Sand Tray and SoulCollage®. Mother, grandmother, earth mother, poet, dreamer, decades-long group facilitator and body-centered psychotherapist, Gail guides others into deeper connections with their soul and the soul of the natural world while endlessly and humbly walking the same journey herself. Weaving Myself Awake: Voicing the Sacred Through Poetry, a collection of Gail’s poems, is available on Amazon.

Gail's Soul Collage. Three quarters of the photo is of a multi-colored woven rug. In the bottom quarter of the photo, the photo of the rug is torn away and there is a sepia headshot of Gail's father

A stroke unravels my father’s life.
He cannot work, speak, or live independently.
Within weeks he loses his wife.
And then he loses his home.
He rages, he grieves, he withdraws.

After time, my father begins to weave!

I watch my father pick a strand of fabric,
holding it with one good hand,
over and under,
over and under.
I watch my father hold each strand tenderly,
held by the consistency of his weaving.
I watch my father as he continues to weave,
creating rugs out of a tangle of losses.

He learns to hold each torn piece of cloth.
I wonder if each ragged piece is like a torn
remnant of his own life.

Why are my father’s rugs sacred to me?
Gift of grace woven out of grief.

All these years later, I see clearly what I couldn’t see
in the midst of all the suffering.
I had no idea at the time that he was teaching me.
Nor did he know he was teaching me.
My father taught me about grief.
He taught me about acceptance.
He taught me about love without words.

He wove rugs and I am weaving words.

I am woven and I am weaver.
Hard to claim when my weaving seems awkward.
Then I remember my father’s rugs.
Then I remember how important it is to weave!

Click here to listen to Gail read My Father’s Rug.

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