I sit in the void, weaving. The web extends in all directions, delicate threads of fine-spun light in all its colors. If you look closely, you’ll see that some of the threads are frayed…that there are knots in the web where threads have broken and been re-tied, sometimes to each other and sometimes to other threads. The web is filled with many patterns of shape and color, transitioning into each other over its expanse in subtle shifts. The whole intricate, filagreed surface glistens, its strands holding teardrops, each one a perfect prism, refracting and reflecting the light into complex, spiraling fractals.
I have been weaving for eons, and weaving this unique section of the web for 27 years, as calculated in human time. Soon after I came to this section of the one great web, a man with heavy boots came by and swept me into a dance that whirled me and twirled me and took my breath away. The glorious sensation of spinning through the spirals, the tremble of pleasure and aliveness running through my entire being as it encountered the strands of light, and the tear dew-drops, was juxtaposed by the stabs of pain as those strands tore and tangled, trampled by the intensity of the movement.
When he left, whole sections of the web were mangled…there were now irregularities in the patterns, tangles distorting shapes, the subtle shifts between colors now skipping a shade here and there, sharpening the transitions.
I turned away from the web, for many years. And then, one day, I began to turn back. Slowly, inch by inch, my eyes drank it all the details – the beauty and the distortions. And I stared. And I studied. At first all I saw were the wounds in the web, but soon I learned to take a step back, and see the pattern for what it was before the rending, as well as after. In that moment of realization, time pretzeled in my understanding, and I began to see not only past and present, but also emergent possibility. I reached for the nearest threads, and began to weave something new out of what had been torn apart.
Weaving is delicate work. At times, at the beginning, I despaired. I worried I would never develop the finesse needed to guide such subtle stitching. I sought out more experienced Weavers, to teach me the skills I needed. The teaching was hands on – they wove strands from their own sections of the Web into the patterns and shapes of mine, and invited me to, in turn, weave in to their webs. Some teachers I exchanged only a few stitches with – one color, or one shape, and the giving and receiving was complete. With others, the interweaving was extended, and two beings in particular committed to working with me on my web until they moved on to another section of webbing that needed their particular style of colors, patterns, and shapes.
And so, slowly, painstakingly, and with excellent guidance and collaboration, I gathered up the torn threads and wove something new, from the foundation of the old patterns. And as I wove, I fell in love with every strand. I fell in love with every rip and tear, as I let myself remember the original, remember the pleasure of connection at the moment of the tearing, understand the possibility afforded by the new open space in the pattern, and gaze adoringly the beauty of the new weaving. I fell so deeply in love with my section of the web that it reminded me that I was already in love with the whole web…that in fact the whole web was somehow me, and that every weaver, also, was somehow me, and that I was the facet of Ourself that had the eyes to see and hands to weave this particular section of web, which was also me. I fell so deeply in love with each and every strand, and shape, and color, and pattern, that I loved the entirety of its history, up to and including its moment of breaking…and in loving that moment, I learned that somehow, the man with heavy boots was also me.
There are still some open loops in the design, waiting to receive new threads – waiting to connect to other sections of the web and allow the patterns of the different weavers to dance together and create something together that neither could create alone. Some of them ache, with a memory…the memory of the man with heavy boots. The memory of being touched, so gloriously and intimately touched, even as they were broken.
And there are still some tangles in the web. Sometimes, when I’m weaving, I get caught in them. Sometimes, in being caught, I find the thread to pull that shifts the whole tangle. Sometimes I just get stuck, and have to either fight my way free or wait until another Weaver comes by to offer me a hand.
Some tangles, I return to again, and again, waiting for the perfect moment when my awareness and the thread that needs pulling come into perfect alignment.
I am learning to balance, between weaving newness and untangling the remaining knots. I am right on the verge of opening the door to further collaboration – to dancing the dance of thread and form and color and shape and pattern with many, many other Weavers. To weave into their webs and receive their threads into my own, until the fabric is dense and strong and more glorious than I could ever imagine it were I weaving alone.
And I am afraid. Because I love my web, and I know that collaboration brings shifts in the strands. And I don’t know what the final shape will be, but I know I have only minimal control over it. And this understanding that the weaving of others will affect my own reminds me of the time I spent whirling and twirling with that heavy-treaded man…and the pain and ecstasy it brought…and the damage it left.
I know I can’t deny the One Web the beauty of my individual weaving. And I won’t. But I can’t deny that there is a part of me that longs to do just that…to cut the cords of connection and keep weaving, alone, in the void.
But I know, somewhere deep down, that to make that choice is to become the man with his heavy boots…that to disconnect my own threads from the whole would hurt the whole just as surely as my own web was hurt.
I will not cut myself off from the Many…but I don’t know, yet, how to dance with the Many, either. I pray each moment for the delicacy required to move among the strands, like a whisper, spinning out shapes of beauty and grace. I pray that each time I and another bring threads together to weave something new, the result will be symmetry, and not distortion.
I know I will not always succeed. But I also know it would be worse not to try.
So here I am: a solitary weaver, on the precipice of releasing my treasured solitude, for the sake of the More.