March 26, 2012

Quilting Our Lives Together: Women in Friendship. ~ Mihirini de Zoysa

A chosen family.

Most women would agree that apart from their biological families and the families they make through marriage, your girlfriends are a big part of your chosen family.

When I look back at my life, I realize how big a part of my journey they have been. They’ve helped me get here through many conversations, cups of tea, hand-holding, tears but also giggles and laughter.

There’s something special about your friendships with your girlfriends. More intimate. More knowing. Open. I’m finally at that age when I can look back at the evidence and appreciate the kind of support and love that women can give each other.

As girlfriends we have held, loved, supported, hugged and sometimes pushed each other when needed. We have been gentle and brutal with the truth, with each other. We have held mirrors to each other. We have stood by the wrongs, the rights, the hurts and joys.

Women to women friendships are not without their issues and complexities. However, for the most part I’ve been incredibly lucky with the women who’ve helped me with the patchwork quilt that is my life.

I think of the movie How to Make an American Quilt and the women who sit around the table weaving their stories in to the quilt. I get that. We are complex creatures with our little peccadilloes and idiosyncrasies. Yet, we care enough about each other to love each other for it and sometimes despite it.

Together, we help each other through the patterns of our journeys, by sewing  and treasuring them into a canvass; so that our lives will be witnessed and acknowledged and made worthy; so that others can snuggle under, be warmed, be covered and comforted by the lives we have created for ourselves.

The movie shows the ups and downs of women in friendship, as they help a young girl find herself and find love.

Something that women often do is have many, many conversations, tell each other stories over many many cups of tea, coffee, glasses of wine. I dedicate this poem to all my girlfriends that I do this with, who I hold close to my heart, and to all the girlfriends I am yet to meet and have that cup of coffee with.

The women who bring our stories to life. 

Exposing, exploring, expanding our lives
we talk our lives in to shape, in to form, into stories,
in to the future
making meaning, shaking, dusting and reinventing the past,
laughing and teasing out the ridiculousness, the irony, the sadness, the hurts, the anger
bearing into joyfullness, into loveliness, into abundance
into the present
into the witch in us, the sex goddess, the angel, the hussy, the mother, the little girl
enfolding our children, our husbands, our lovers, our parents, our friends, our enemies
we connect
making stories in each others lives
from the sublime to the ridiculous, from the profane to the sacred
choosing our battles, winning wars
reclaiming lost selves, crafting our outer and inner clothes
unabashedly wallowing in the muddy murky waters of not knowing
diving deep into the clear blue sea to cleanse
like mermaids that come up to look for lost love
we come ashore and then go back again in
to the primordial womb
when we know we are losing ourselves
we sigh, we cry, we laugh, we scream
in anger, in joy, in love, in pain, in delight
we sit
circling our stories
kneading, baking, brewing, munching, cutting, sewing, knitting, painting, crafting ourselves
into each other, into ourselves, into the world
creating, meshing, moulding, finding our selves
witnessing, acknowledging, loving, accepting
the female soul,
the female self.

Wishing you to be held lovingly, comfortingly and wisely by your friends.

Blessings and love,




Mihirini is a Leadership Coach, Organization Development consultant and a conversation facilitator. Her professional persona is projected through her company, Corporate Druids, and she is forever reinventing herself, her life and work and finding that she is showing up more and more at work as herself. An occasional poet and sporadic blogger, you will frequently find her daydreaming and reflecting and sometimes making dreams happen. She giggles and laughs often, especially at the cosmic jokes of life.

Living in the tiny isle of Sri Lanka, with its incredible rich bio diversity and amazingly resilient people, where both the sublime and ridiculous can happen all at the same time, keeps her grounded with the reality of life.Learning from many failed and some delightfully successful conversations, she is committed to deepening her ongoing intimate conversation with herself, her family, friends, clients and nature, curiously engaged in creating and becoming the world around her.

She is currently completing her PhD research at Ashridge School of Business, UK, focused on the Art of Conversation. You can write to her at [email protected] or read about her evolving thoughts and work on her website or follow her on Twitter.



Editor: Andrea B.


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