The esteemed Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner said,

“We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone … and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.”

The weaver sits at a loom and threads the shuttle. Thread is selected for intensity and how well it compliments or contrasts with the other threads. It can be a choice based on texture or color. The choice can be the foundational component of the entire piece or a small area of emphasis. Is the tapestry dark and rich with a variety of subtle hues? Is it primarily browns with dramatic areas of reds or golds? The weaver may make a mistake, missing a pass in the loom, getting their timing off. Does she stop? Does she slowly and painstakingly pull the missed line out and restart? Who will notice the mistake other than her? Maybe she picks a color of thread and after weaving for a while, she realizes the color is simply wrong. The color clashes instead of complimenting. Sometimes you must keep going because too much is invested and there is not time to undo and redo the weaving. Sometimes, you pull the whole thing down and start a new piece.


I like this imagery of my own life as a tapestry. The people in my life as threads added to the texture and intricacy of my existence. Even discordance can ultimately be additive. Sometimes it is that errant chartreuse yard that gives punch and distinction. Up against maroon, gray or violet, one would expect¬† a hideous clash of colors, but often the combination is astonishing. It is good that I did not waste effort pulling out the chartreuse. The unusual and the contrary give depth and uniqueness.¬† Leaving it gives my tapestry something extra, something original. There are threads woven into my life that I recall with fondness. I remember weaving them into my life, the time and the energy to tightly mesh them into the pattern. That section of the tapestry is lovely but I no longer have any of that thread and I doubt any more will ever be found. My life is not an area rug, it does not need symmetry. So, I can return to that area and linger over the luxurious feel of the textures. But, as weaver, I move on. I have found some new thread, in new colors, with new textures. Plus I have learned some new techniques and I am more confident. I have a better shuttle and better lighting. I am more experienced. I may even have taken instructions from a master weaver. I am now interested in attempting my own pattern. I have been replicating someone else’s pattern. I did a good job, but I am excited about a new pattern.

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