Small Things Shape Us

Small Things Shape UsWhen reflecting on our lives, we remember the big things that happened. Our parents, or lack of them, childhood passages, marriages, divorces, children grown & gone, important family & friends we’ve lost are recalled.

I was fortunate to be raised in the 50s, with parents who stayed together, loved & educated Carole & me. Extended family occasions brought aunts, uncles & cousins all together for weddings, births, graduations, outdoor picnics in summer, running through the lawn sprinkler in one piece bathing suits.

The four of us ate dinner together at the kitchen table & we all went to church Sundays. Evenings, we gathered around our one TV in the living room watching “Gunsmoke”, “I Love Lucy”, “Bob Hope Specials” & “Father Knows Best.”

Small things also mold us into who we will one day become. I remember cold winters in Pennsylvania in grade school. Too cold or too dark to be outside, I liked to put jigsaw puzzles together. I’d lay them out on mom’s large “spaghetti board” where she made pasta by hand for holidays. Then, I could slide it under my bed each night until finished. Something felt so satisfying about continuing until I could see the complete scene.

In high school, I took art & enjoyed geometry though it was abstract & not always easy. The problems would feel unsolvable until I suddenly comprehended the answer in a flash. I excelled in composition & later, wrote poetry.

I had already gone through all of the psychic reading & healing classes nearby when I went back to college. Then, I moved with my son, to the San Francisco Bay Area where I studied meditation & tarot card reading along with the Humanities.

In graduate school, I experienced the true meaning of education when immersed in what absolutely fascinated me; the human psyche, Carl Jung’s theories, Assagioli’s Principles of Psychosynthesis. I loved guided visualization & had a knack for understanding symbology – the language of the unconscious. I learned how to relieve emotional & spiritual pain. Working with clients who are suffering in some area of their lives then, witnessing their transformations as they heal, is quite rewarding.

These were some of the best years of my life. I was set on a path of self discovery that I’ve been traveling ever since.

Once introduced to montage, whole portions of me became congruent. Jigsaw puzzles, as a child; relishing the quiet solitude where I could concentrate on matching colors, shapes, designs & carefully reassembling the entire picture from all the small bits. H.S. art, geometry & composition, enabled me to create balance & harmony with words, images & their interrelationships. Psychology, tarot symbols, psychic reading, imagery, communicating directly with the subconscious to heal became second nature then, merged into MM Myth Tapestries from which MM Photo Tapestries emerged. (Read blog, “Montaged Walls Interaction”.)

It all coalesced into a magical synergy integrating the above mentioned aspects. What a blessing has come through me! This beautiful book that I hold in my hands has been consciously brewing inside & evolving for 3 decades. Twice that, if you start from childhood puzzles. Each component has been crucial, each element essential. This is how Spirit works through us. I am deeply grateful.


Author: Gwen Sarandrea has authored numerous books including Counseling Case Study & The Healing House, The Gift of Dad’s Final Years. She is also a portrait montage artist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Gwen has a love of helping people cope with the aging and death of parents and other loved ones. Visit to pick up your copies of Gwen’s books.

Photo Source: Microsoft Clip Art

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