Thursday, December 15, 2016

Four Years, Three Souls, Two Stories, One Coat of Many Colors


I've been ruminating lately on the essence of story. I don't mean the awesome novel or great poem, but our story, or to be more specific, my story. The intricacies of the story I tell myself and the story I tell about myself to others. I've been thinking about how the existentialist in me makes meaning in this world and how I create meaning in my life. I have been examining my 49 years of weaving and the coat of stories I wear around my shoulders.

To me, story is how I connect with others. It is the thread that weaves and hums itself into and out of the events that shape my life. How do the colors change when I bring in a new shared thread? What is the story I tell myself when someone I love abruptly disappears and their part of the weave goes silent? How do I learn to weave my story alone, when once, two threads danced and a shared pattern together in my personal technicolor dreamcoat?

Tomorrow will be the four year anniversary of losing one of the most important threads in my weaving. I see my coat now, and it doesn't glow quite as brightly. It feels like one of the threads that always seemed to tie the colors together, is gone.

The disappearance of that thread has changed my weave. New, beautiful threads have come into my life. Threads that are weaving joy, sorrow, responsibility, love... some threads shine all the brighter and are so important to me, I listen to them as they hum with color. The hum of the universe.

I run my finger over the thread tracing her pattern beginning to end, feeling the weft and weave. I listen to the old voice messages on my phone that still hum with her sound. With how she vibrated in the world. And I know I have this small hole in my weave. I've lost part of the words to my story. I catch moments of her in my other threads. In a smile, a crinkled nose, a series of words, or a photograph by my bed. But I can't figure out how to rewrite my story to lessen how much I miss hers. How is it that the dreamcoat I wear, feels heavier without her thread? Shouldn't its absence make the coat feel lighter?

I wrap myself in my story. I curl up at night with my coat. In my dreams, I see the entirety of my weave and I realize how beautiful my coat is, how fortunate I am to have so few frayed ends, and so few silent threads. I can only tell my story. I am the one writing it - no one else. I am the one who runs her fingers over the strands grateful for the ones still humming. Grateful for the bright, beautiful thread that reflects my soul and the souls of those who are part of my weaving. Even the ones that are only present in my coat for a brief moment, who for reasons I may never understand, go silent.

I'm getting better at tying off those threads. The ones left hanging without an answer. Tying them and tucking them up into the weave so that they don't get caught and unravel the work. Stories are meant to have conflict, weaves aren't always smooth, but the beauty comes in the working through the conflict, and the eventual softening of the rough spots in a weave.

But there are some threads, like her thread, that even though they are tied up and tucked neatly into the weave, I can't stop teasing them with my fingers. I don't think there is a day that goes by that I don't in some way revisit that part of my story. It is integral to how I relate to the world. And even when threads have been smoothed over and tucked away, even when there is some resolution to their silence, even though I am so aware and so blessed for the time they were part of mine, I miss their active presence in my story now.

Maybe one day I will write my story differently, so that the ache of that missing thread isn't as acute.

One thing I know is that my story, and our story, is worth telling.  I need that part of our shared weave and even when this time of year comes around and I find myself running my fingers over the rough spot, I still treasure that tucked up thread. And even as my coat grows with each telling, grows with new threads and grows with time, maybe the beauty and value of story is in the telling. I can't imagine that there will come a day when that part of my story, that adventure, that beautiful part of my coat, won't bring me joy and wrap me in the softest warmth - and won't make for a great retelling.


Unknown said...

That is beautiful MK

MaryKate M said...

Thank you <3