Week 3, ‘Hardanger’ Patience

So Week 3 begins and I find myself as a blank slate.  I am looking for a direction to point, as I speculate how the next week will unfold.  I have looked at patience from the perspectives of ME and YOU, so now the focus is ‘US’.  If I pick up where I left off, from the late lesson learned last week, I know I have to continue down this road of humbly reading signs. But will I get to an understanding of how to best be patient with ‘US’, well….that will be my surprise.

My mum was always busy.  If she wasn’t working at her administrative career, she was growing a huge garden, creating crafty items for the house, or whirling up a storm of treats in the kitchen.  She always had something in her hands; a book, a crocheting hook, a weed trimmer, making good use of every waking moment for herself or others.  Rarely did she stop to watch television or movies, and if she did, there was a craft in her hand.  I remembered thinking, as I looked at the intricate patterns she was anchoring into canvas, that it takes a lot of patience to finish this kind of work.  Something I doubted I could or would ever do, because it would take such care, such timing.  So the icon I am using this week is a delicate piece of craft my mum worked on for months.  It is an old Nordic craft called ‘hardanger’ (a most ironic name for this weeks topic 🙂 ), which is basically a mix of all needle crafts, but on steroids!  One wrong snip of the scissors, and the work is ruined.


I did not have this item in my hoard of her possessions until very recently.  Mum had made it for a family friend, so I had forgotten it existed.  Plus, having 14 years of isolation from all the people I grew up around, made it difficult to stay connected to my own history.  Regrettably, I am convinced there were important stories and memories lost during those traumatic years spent wondering if anyone would ever love me again.  Many of these lost memories were connected to dear mum, as she was often a topic of ridicule from my former spouse, who mocked any signs of mourning I processed and tore apart the character of this lady he had never met.  It became easier to forget mum, letting go of the sentiment attached to her possessions, in order to preserve their place inside a hostile home that was searching for an excuse to be rid of them.  His contemptuous jealousy of the love I had for my mum and her things, eventually led me to believe she did not love me, was not a good mother and was not the virtuous person I had painted her to be.

Of course, she was not a saint!

But that is how we want to see loved ones after they are no longer with us.  Even the worst criminals involved in unconscionable gangs, leading merciless lives, have family members that remember their good qualities, praising their strengths after a youthful demise.

So mum had faults.  It did not diminish the works of love she performed everyday for the people around her.  That is who I am concentrating on this week.

‘US’ is going to be the people who are active participants in my daily routine.  Family, friends, colleagues, and fellow volunteers, will all be players in this week’s discovery.  If ever there were a perfect chance to express your own strategies and thoughts you have had on patience, this would be the time.  I am going to ask ‘US’ 2 questions this week.

When in your life, have you experienced another person purposefully being patient with you?”


How did seeing their patience, make you feel?”

I don’t know about your brain, but when I read that first question, I automatically flip to remembering times people were impatient with me.

This is not the question!  I have to take another moment to reflect on more subtle indicators, perhaps almost intangible, in order to recall exact moments of another person being patient with me.

Maybe, if we cannot recall any instances of this nature, we can observe it this week, as we talk, work, and live alongside others on the frontlines of our lives.  I have my hardanger piece on display and ready to remind me.

hardanger table

What will your icon be this week?



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2 replies to “Week 3, ‘Hardanger’ Patience”

  1. Cari Mutch says:

    Your ability to creatively communicate the insights as they unfold during this journey of yours has me anticipating reading the next and the next one after that. My heart aches to read of the pain you experienced after the loss of your mom and the absence of support during so many years. It takes courage to examine the impact of core relationships in one’s life without air-brushed editing or, on the other hand, taking the position of blame-casting victim. I read once that our brains save memories in a similar way to computers – when an event is recalled, subtle changes made – a space here, highlights there – are preserved by the “save-as” feature, overriding the previous version and significantly altering our recollections and perceptions over time. However, searching can recover many pieces of history, making them available to be opened with a different program, in a new screen. It seems Finding 52 is all about that.

    1. ajstrand says:Author

      HI Cari, Thank you for your beautiful comment. I have experienced both the subtle memory shifts and the full impact of a deep memory unburied with a sudden memory trigger. But I am grateful brains work in this way. It means our uncomfortable bits will not last forever and we can recover from our biggest hurts later in life when it is safe to do so. xo

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