Darkness gathers at the edges of my mind, nibbling away at the light that has come to make its home there. An odd feeling of breathless panic –trapped, I am trapped- and I am pacing inside a gilded cage with cold iron bars. I can still see the warmth, the light, outside the cage, all around, but the comfort it offers does not touch me. The fabric of time rolls out before me and behind me, and I look at where it forks. One path leads into the heart of the light, one has followed me into this cage. Such a tiny choice that I did not even see it as it was made, but it split my path, and I cannot undo it.
I pick up the threads of the tapestry one by one, searching for the key to my release. My hand jerks as I touch a thread, feeling the joy that runs through it turn to fear and sorrow with no cause –or is there a cause?- I try to weave the threads of my heart back into place but they shift and snarl in my hands, fighting each other, fighting me. –Some things can’t be mended- I must weave them in the design they want to make or not at all. I work backwards, looking for the first tangled thread and pull it free gently, looking to the thread it crossed. One is a journey, and considered alone it brings a sense of rightness, the other is a person, a thread that alone brings joy but tangles almost every other thread it touches.
So many lives are woven into the tapestry, so many of them mine, each of them whole, each of them broken. Falling away are the discarded threads that I cut away that others might fit, forcing what was more to become only this. –And what is this?- More than whole, forced to become only whole, fraying where the cut and broken threads still hang. One thread breaks free, only to be caught up again here and there, leaving loose loops that catch and pull, shifting the weave of the fabric. Stubbornly strong it refused to break or be cut, and it is this thread that tangles. That it enter the weaving once again is inevitable, how and when and where are the only questions that can be answered, and the window of When narrows even as I watch.
Battling myself, I breathe and consider. I cannot give this thread up and I will not mar the perfection that I have learned to create, that has found its home in my tapestry. –Be careful child, the gods are jealous of perfection- Discordance makes music more lovely as it mirrors the imperfections of our hearts. Surely there is a way to weave a tangle that will turn it into a thing of beauty, a work of art. If it will not lie smoothly, then let it become texture, a hidden message knotted into the fabric of time like secrets spun and woven into silk.
I feel the bars of my cage begin to dissolve, weakening as I weave myself a key. I do not have the answer, but I have the question, and sometimes that is the more important of the two. I am no one to challenge the gods, nor to turn my back on their blessings. Taking care in my weaving shows that I value what I have been given. I ignore the whispers that tell me I am more than I am, just as I ignore the ones that tell me I am less. –That was then, this is now- All there is in this moment, in any moment, is me. I can only be exactly what I am. I can reach for more, can run from what I wish to leave behind, but I can only be myself. Even in pretending, that is true.
My teacher watches me, eyes glittering, from her web. She spins for no one but herself, weaves for no one but herself. –Lessons can be learned- That was her first lesson, and even now I do not see her weaving, as she does not see mine. She teaches me in riddles, and I have learned to give riddles for answers. I will not make her mistake, and she will not make mine, for the threads of our tapestries are not the same.
I run a finger down a bar and pick up a handful of light. I weave it between the brittle iron and add the thread that won’t break, the thread that bends and warps my weaving and let it act according to its nature. –Sometimes a curse can also be a blessing- And as the weaving warps, the bars bend, and through the opening they leave I take my first steps into freedom.