Dia's Story Cloth

By Writing Up a Storm

A very powerful picture book story told by the stitched vignettes that Dia’s aunt and uncle embroidered into a story cloth. . . . As you peer into the embroideries, you find all the pieces of this long journey, from its beginnings in the pastoral settings of a rural life, with flowers, ducks, chickens, rivers and ponds and the surround of mountains.

The journey is long and complicated and when you peek into one small part, it seems as if you might be able to put your finger on this one step of the journey, and almost be there, just for a moment.

But when you draw back and see the immensity of all of these vignettes, all of these footsteps, this terrible and long journey, it falls into that realm of human experience that makes us all say, “Why?” A million times, “Why?”

There is no poetry, nor any rhyme nor reason, to what the Hmong people have had to endure, but, even so, their journey has been transformed into poetry in this embroidered story cloth.

For art has the power to transform and to redeem.

This is a book which tells us how important the word “embrace” really is. That there are people living somewhere near us who have come from too far away, whose stories are unfathomable, whose lives are precious. I want to put my arms around Dia and her story cloth. In lieu of that, I have her book in my arms, and I can almost put my fingers on the beautiful and bright embroidery threads that have stitched her people’s journey all the way from China to us.

I hope you will embrace and be embraced this weekend in some unexpected and miraculous way! —Writing Up a Storm