This photo is of the parting gift I presented to Shiva’s parents at our meeting. His mother stroked it over and over and proclaimed, “I am going to show everyone what Shiva’s friend has made for us. What is cropped out of this photo is the very identifying last name that I wrote in Devanagri at the top. As I explained to Shiva’s parents, this is a blessing art. My great-grandmother used to make them and there are still some hanging in her home after her passing. She typically used a family’s coat of arms. I know that Shiva’s family has a mandala, but it is my understanding that it is erased every year and I didn’t know how to get a copy of one, even if I had wanted to. So I just created my own blessing image for them. The tree represents their family tree. The roots are almost hidden by the water. I explained that the blessing hopes for their family tree to be nourished with the best and in the center of the nourishing river is Dharma, which I also hope is good for the family. Within the leaves is the sign of infinity, hoping for a continuous life for the tree. Within the trunk is the eternal knot. This symbol present in both Shiva’s religion and my Celtic background is to represent the intertwined nature we share and also another prayer for eternal strength of the family tree.
Next time, I will use wool threads as Shiva’s mother seemed disappointed that the threads were made of cotton. Also, I hope that by the time I can give them another gift, my Devanagri has improved as a made a minor and amusing spelling mistake with regard to their last name. Of course, as parents will praise a youngster for invented spelling, so Shiva’s parents praised me for my self-taught Nepali writing.
This is a small example of a couple of letters I embroidered.