The other day Hilary posted “Dream Weaver” using the metaphor of a tapestry to explain the journey of life:
“The journey into the past revealed a depth of memory, a rich tapestry of experience and opportunity for growth.”
This post resonated with me, as I have often used words like tapestry or weaving to explain concepts important to me, even (I think) in some of the early posts on this blog. As a matter of fact, I quote here from the dusty tome of my dissertation that I have not looked at in years:
I prefer to think of culture as “a tapestry,” a metaphor given to me by carol North of Metro Theater Company. A tapestry contains interlocking lines of color that allow each strand to strengthen the beauty of the whole in order to work together to create the final image. At the same time, however, the creator of the tapestry can make choices for each individual strand that make one color seem to dominate. It is important to understand both the whole and the individual strands. In terms of our society, I think that we must ask what the whole represents: is it the dominant culture (white, male, heterosexual, able-bodied, middle-aged, upper-middle class, Anglo-Saxon, Christian) which has had control for so long, or is it some other entity that cannot survive without each individual strand? Each strand is different, made up of tiny fibers that give that strand its strength and color–just as each person is different, able to affiliate him/herself with multiple cultures based on personal choice, personal beliefs, and financial standing, as well as physical attributes. Yet, while individuals might affiliate themselves with one group, society still has some power in defining who we are and what roles we play in the overall tapestry, just as the creator of the tapestry assigns the roles played by the individual strands.”
[Side note: it was really strange to copy something that I don't even remember writing anymore. I do know that I originally had written a poem about tapestry that I wanted to include, but I don't know what happened to it. I really wrote that?]
I have explored the idea of lives interconnecting through invisible webs in numerous post. Click on the topic “Connections” on my side bar you will find posts celebrating friends, posts about the stories that connect us all, posts about the connections I’ve made in the past that still touch me in the present, posts about webs and tapestries and connecting the dots.
The theme keeps recurring, that our stories and our lives all intersect and connect in numerous ways to create the whole.
Even my fiction seems to reflect the theme of interconnected stories. The Moon Calls women together to share their stories and embrace their strengths. The Storyteller invites people around the fire to teach about tolerance and difference through stories. Her words merge in the air to create Pictures in the Flames. Wise Mother shares the gift of magic with a young apprentice, inviting her into the world of story telling and other magic.
The phrase Simultaneous Stories, keeps appearing in my notes and Morning Pages as well as my blog posts. I recently splurged on a little specialty notebook, in the hopes that perhaps keeping my ideas with me would help me focus and create.
The very first page contains the following list:
This interest in telling simultaneous stories isn’t recent. When I first applied to my doctoral program I wrote how I wanted to create a theatre piece that crossed cultural boundaries by being performed with people from a variety of nationalities utilizing multiple languages. I wanted that to be part of my dissertation, but was somehow talked out of it by an advisor who, at the time, believed that dissertations should follow a more traditional research method. Of course, just after I graduated applied research became the more popular mode of dissertation writing in my field, so I guess I was just ahead of my time (or perhaps I opened the doors for other people to walk through). Sigh!
Perhaps my struggle to find the story that I want to write comes from trying to focus on one story. Maybe the project I need to work on is one that brings together many stories, some of my own, some of yours, some of the people I have yet to meet. In some ways my decision to go to Slovakia reflects my desire to collect stories and be open to the unknown.
I still don’t have a clear picture of what form this collection might be. Perhaps it is a book, with a collection of stories from some of my favorite bloggers intertwined with my own. Perhaps it is a stage play, where the stories of people get told through words, through movement, through puppets, through dance. Or maybe I really do need to learn how to weave, to create a visual tapestry of stories and connections and the words that link us all.
All I know for sure is that I have been weaving a web of interconnected stories all my life, and now I need to find a way to share.