It isn’t untrue to say my life is composed of strings. Cords of cotton and nylon to bind together my affects, to blouse the cuffs of my pants over the boots bound to feet by laces. Thin leather strips to close cloth bags holding cards, wooden tiles marked with archaic letters, thicker pouches of stones and coins corded shut by suede.
There are the heavier ropes, braided hemp woven through the grommets of my rucksack, the strong thick leather of my belt, the suspenders crafted for me years ago by a lover. The thick lengths of tree fiber, grown together, which support the weight of my body upon a chair, a bed, across a floor.
Then, the thinner strings. The copper wire twined around the wand of Alder, binding to it feather of raven and crystal of earth. That same wire ties together the braid in my beard, itself composed of myriad thin strands of hair which also covers much of my body. The threads–oh, the threads! Filament of plant and animal fiber woven together into cloth to cover my flesh where hair and nudity are insufficient or unaccepted. Thicker fabrics cover me when I sleep, shade out the light from my room in the morning, dry my skin after showers.
Also, those newer of connections, the other wires, channelling within them like veins and nerves below flesh amberic currents and signals between artifice and signal, generation and illumination.
Strings and wires and cords bind me and embrace me and restrain me, but they are not mine alone.
There are other filaments, unseen but always felt, invisible but ever-present. Some tie you to me, thoughts and dreams, laughter and hatred, what is shared and what is feared. I meet you and we are tethered, sometimes anchored, sometimes set aloft like connected balloons slipping from the hands of children into the endlessness of sky. Some tie me to you, affection or dislike, duty or admiration, care or casualty, love or loss. Some are like chains which weigh upon the soul, but many others like long stitches which keep us together.
Not just in present, either. There are the threads of fate woven into my form and existence at birth and from even before, the tugging strong rope of destiny unfolding, and all the myriad unfollowed threads of stories and sorrows, possibilities and failures still loose.
I’ve heard existence spoken of as a web, but I have never quite felt this true. Webs are spun to constrict and trap, to bind and kill. A broken strand does not destroy it. Its patterns can be predicted, its geometry assured.
Rather, then, a tapestry, woven from time and the self, of threads countless and coloured, and each strand is you, and you, and you, and some of them are me.
We do not weave alone, and we are not the only ones at the loom. What are we weaving, we whose cords are cut at the end of life, who become re-spun into new threads?
Some threads are the gods. And this is a thing I do not understand, but from which I cannot look away: the gods seem almost the pattern we learn to weave, but I do not know how, nor do I know why. And I do not know why they weave with us, and why we weave with them.
I hope one day to find out.