There’s an old Norse saying that the fabric of our lives is woven by the Fates but that we color the tapestry as we wish. Since anything that has to do with fabric fascinates me, I have been giving this interesting idea some thought. If it were possible to color my personal tapestry, how would I go about it? What colors would I use? What textures, what values, and which patterns would I choose?
Colors, first. Stacked in my closet are bins of fabric sorted more or less according to hue. So, ignoring the fact that the bins are a jumble of prints, solids, bits and pieces… in short, an awful mess, I pull out the bin that is full of blues. Blue can be soothing and soft or vibrant and exciting, but for my tapestry I choose an ocean-blue needed for calm and sparkling seas. Now, a boat is needed to navigate these waters, so I dip into the ‘red’ bin. Red to me is the color of courage and determination, of a jaunty je ne sais quoi that will carry my boat through calm and storm alike. And yes, I should add a little orange to the mix for humor’s sake. A sense of humor is critical, after all.
On to the yellows. Who can exist without sunshine and joy? A yellow sun matches the sunflowers scattered on the meadowlands adjacent to the sea, and I’ll throw in a golden finch or two. Here are children dressed in shades of yellow playing with a fuzzy duckling and then those same children climbing onto a yellow school bus. And, look, there they are again striding out into the world to design buildings with pale-gold stone, to heal or sculpt or create wonderful things that will gladden the world. And since none of this can exist in a vacuum, there needs to be grass green meadows and fields and a mountain or two. So much for green.
In the warm sunshine
Children’s laughter fill the air
And gladden this heart.
Tapestries need dark colors, too. Purple shadows are required for rest and sleep, and I’ll throw in these dark blues for moments of introspection… All fine and good, but then there is the box in which I house the black fabrics. I would like to pass by these ominous hues of struggle, pain, and loss, but I know that even these I need, for it is the darkest hours that shape and hone and strengthen. So, black there must be–but not too much– and I move quickly on to the bin marked ‘white.’
Silvery white for moonglow and stars in a night sky. Excellent. White damask for inspiration……marvellous. White satin for the kind of incandescent joy that is almost too great to hold. Add a touch of white for the seagull soaring over my ocean, and I am done. But wait a minute, what about the sky?
Skies are necessary. They soar above us and show us that we can achieve anything that we dare to do. They set the tone for our days and nights. So, a sky, but what kind? Blue with flecks of cloud? Tinted with the exquisite mauves of sunset? Midnight blue? Skies portending storm or rain or snow? All these are needed in my imagined tapestry, and I am not sure which to choose.
Perhaps I will have to leave that up to the Fates, after all.