I follow a lot of blogs on a wide variety of topics, most related to arts and crafts and making stuff. I usually see tutorials and new works, but in late June I read this sad post on A Creative Being. The post was not by Wink, the site’s creator, but by her sister, letting all of her readers know that Wink had taken her own life.
Soon, Kathryn at Crochet Concupiscence started the #MandalasforMarinke project, an effort to let fellow crocheters remember Wink and raise awareness about depression by creating mandalas from Wink’s beautiful patterns (Wink’s name was Marinke Slump, but she went by Wink). Though I only knew Wink through her posts online, I wanted to participate.
Here is my mandala:
And here is the note to go along with it:
I read the blog post about Wink’s death while I was in the waiting room of my therapist’s office. I’ve dealt with a lot of issues through my treatment, one of them a period of pretty deep depression. It was a bad time for me, but I am doing very well now. I feel stories like Wink’s deeply because while I don’t know the specifics of her depression, I know what wrestling with depression is like. It sucks. A lot. It is also scary for me to see someone who seemed, at least to me, to be doing ok have depression come back in such an aggressive and tragic way.
Even before I saw posts about the #MandalasforMarinke project, I knew I would be making one of her mandalas as a reminder to check in with myself to see how I am doing. It is so much easier to say, “Hey, something feels off,” when those feelings are starting then when you’ve been feeling them for a while.
I have made two identical manadalas: one for me, and one for the #MandalasforMarinke project. I dyed the yarn in bright colors that make me really happy, and used the first mandala pattern of Wink’s I ever saw. I wish the circumstances surrounding this piece were different, but I’m proud of the mandala I have made and that I am able to write all of these things and sign my name to it.
Interested in making your own mandala for the project? Check out the project page here. The deadline for submissions has been extended to October 15. The pattern I used is here, but there are many free and paid patterns available.
Want to see other mandalas that have been submitted to the project? Look at these blog posts on Crochet Concupiscence.
I also recommend “9 secrets I’ve uncovered about depression” by Kady Morrison on Vox. I did a lot of head nodding in agreement when I read it.
Until next time,