Once I went to a birthday party. We were invited at this party to engage in a process called Soul Collage. We found images from magazines to use in collage that represented the journey we were on at this time.  I was happy to be there. This was my kind of party with my Friends- symbolic, process oriented, artistic, and metaphoric. Yes, I was ready and happy be there.


My husband had been recently diagnosed with dementia. A few people at the party knew this. Most did not. My husband was functional, amenable and affable, even though he did not fully relate to anyone as he once had. This was a safe place for him to be and it was a comfort for me. We were overwhelmed by the truth of this reality. He was losing his intellectual capacity at a rate that was unusual for his age. We did not know how quickly his condition would progress. We only knew diminishment was a sure thing.


We spread out around the living room and started sorting through magazines for images that spoke to us. First I found a wave. Then I found a woman with blonde wavy hair. Then I found a giraffe and a golden Buddha, a shooting star, a volcanic eruption, an arch of magenta orchids, a small bridge across a pond. I felt rich.


Every one of these images spoke volumes to me. I started the process of looking at the images and feeling which really pulled me, really engaged me. I let it be an intuitive experience. I let image and impulse and feeling and energy guide me. The wave and the blonde woman were the most exciting images.


The image I created from them was very provoking. The long blond hair was a frame through which a large wave appeared and her dress was made of deep ocean waves. It was a message, I felt, from a higher power, from a guide, a Divine source. It was difficult and unintelligible in many ways. I have looked at it again and again in the last two years. It had truth in it I could never have spoken or created without this particular space and time filled with the wisdom and safety of Friends inviting God to play with us.


My husband died in May this year. I look at the collage now and see a message: The tsunami comes. You become part of the force that is so much greater than you, it sweeps through you and yet you stand strong.

—Peg Edera