Monday, October 15, 2007

Purple Thread

Originally uploaded by hahwriter
Spinning has begun teaching me about life.

I am new at spinning and not so new at living, or so it feels sometimes.

I look back over my life and see many horrible things, many "rough" patches that would have been far better not to have experienced. This time, I am not just talking about the death of my parents and family members, but about how hard handling the pain and the confusion of the pain and just trying to live and not just exist while in the midst of the pain itself.

In learning to spin I am making what is called "slub yarn." Yarn that is sometimes extremely thin in spots, or sections; or perhaps quite thick. As with all things you learn, there are also sections that are absolutely perfect. This is a lot like life.

There are parts of our life where we are pulled so thin we are in danger of breaking and never being able to mend ourselves back together. Sometimes our lives are so full, so bloated with things to do or work to complete, we can't see how we've come past the thin section. The sections that are absolutely perfect surprise us, but only in hindsight, because we can't see we have had perfect sections until the thin or thick parts hit as we wind the yarn of our lives back onto the spindle of time to create more yarn and we see them and we wonder, perhaps only sometimes, perhaps a lot, why we hadn't noticed them before.

My faith teaches me that the Theotokos, the Virgin Mary, spun. We have an icon on the Holy Doors at Church that shows the Annunciation when the Angel Gabriel comes to tell her she can be with child. She is sitting quietly with a spindle and a long piece of beautiful blue thread. Startled by the appearance of the angel, the spindle is unwound some, but it is still one beautiful strand of consistent thread. The Theotokos tells the Angel Gabriel, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." (Luke 1:26 - 38) And Christ enters her womb.

She accepts. She is not forced.

You can't force the yarn into perfection. It just moves into it's shape and consistency with all of the wonder of every fiber falling perfectly into place. The Theotokos was human, just like me, but she was willing to let all of the fibers of her Soul, her mind, her body, and her heart fall into that perfect unison so that Christ could be born of her.

My fibers aren't perfectly falling into place. I still let life pull me so taut, so thin, I am in danger of breaking and never mending. I still let life fill me up until I am just one single blob of imperfect fibers trying very hard to spin into perfection. I still can't see all of the times when my life is in perfection, order, stretching out before me until they are past me. But I am trying. And, the more I try, the more I see the dangers, the pitfalls and the sorrows ahead, and know, through faith and love and steadfastness I will get through them. My one hope is that I don't hurt the people I love while getting through them.

Spinning has begun teaching me about life. Perhaps, by the time my yarn is in a perfect section, I will be able to see life a little differently, and thus keep all of the fibers running through and making the most beautiful of thread.

Maybe Jesse Stuart had it right in his novel The Thread that Runs So True when he tells stories of his life and how every single thread means something to someone, and when it is all woven, it shows us a tapestry of our lives. Isn't that such a wonderful legacy to leave behind and to create?

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