Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Parallel threads

The other day, while browsing through stationary at Papyrus, I came across a Chinese proverb that I was immediately drawn to.
With time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown.
Wow, huh? Or, at least, I think so. But why is this so compelling to me?

This quote touches on two parallel but distinct story threads that have been calling to me more and more lately. I think of the first as the "Phoenix thread" and the second as the "Stranger Than Fiction thread".

Stories that belong to the first thread touch on the concept that the death of an old self must come before the new self can rise up. Typically these stories reiterate that you cannot tether yourself to some safe, known base; You have to let go of the bird in the hand for a shot at the two in the bush. Caterpillars transform into butterflies, victims bitten by dracula become vampires themselves, water is able to transport itself across the desert -- but only after a scary and sometimes painful transformation.

Stories that belong to the second thread touch on the concept that we can sometimes indirectly contribute to meaningful and substantial change in the world. These stories exemplify the fact that not everyone has to be in the spotlight to have an impact. Who taught the prince how to slay the dragon? Who forged his sword?

Noticing that this proverb struck a chord with me helped me realize that these two threads are running in the background. There are lessons in each that I am trying to learn, lessons I hope I am better poised to take in and absorb than I may have been during previous phases of my life.

But now I wonder. What other threads are back there? And, if I were to weave them all together, what kind of fabric would they make?


Kate said...

hi! i love your insight into things and i totally love your blog. i found a link to it on my aunt's blog.

so since i love it so much, i nominated you for an award/meme!! :^]
the link to the format is here.

Connecting Stories said...

Beautiful. Somehow, the story of mulberries and silk has always attracted me, too. Your insights here add to my fascination.


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