Today I was inspired by storyteller Michael Meade. He shared a marvelous old story from the Native People of North America, which is very pertinent to our current unraveling crisis. The story tells of an old woman living in a cave with the knowledge on how to act when the dark times come around and the balance of the world turns into chaos. While everyone is looking for a way to get to that cave and learn, the road seemed not to be found.
The old woman remains unaffected by the rush of time and the confusion and conflict of daily life. She spends most of her time weaving in the cave where light and shadows play, along with an old black dog as her only companion. She wants to create a huge and beautiful garment. She has been at this weaving project for a long time and has reached the point of making a fringe for the edge of her exquisite garment. She wants that fringe to be special, meaningful as well as elegant, so she weaves it with porcupine quills. She likes the idea of using something that could poke you as an element of beauty; she likes turning things around and seeing life from odd angles. In order to use the porcupine quills, she must flatten each one with her teeth. After years of biting hard on the quills, her teeth have become worn down to nubs that barely rise above her gums. Still, the old woman keeps biting down and she keeps weaving on. She works tirelessly, never leaving her work except to stir the great kettle in the back of the cave, which is a stew simmering with seeds and plants. When she does that, she rises, looks at the old black dog, and then moves to the kettle slowly and stiffly because of her great age. This gives the black dog, who is old too, time to get up, go to the loom, take the ends of the threads in his mouth, and unravel the garment to its starting point. When the old woman returns and sees what her companion has done, she sighs, and then sits down to begin her work all over again. And this time a new design with even more beautiful patterns begins to take shape.
The elders who have been sharing this story for hundreds of years tell us to be thankful for what unravels because the world does that only to be re-woven again and again. I also believe that it is our job to remain in a state of grace, pick up our own thread and begin to weave new patterns of beauty, equanimity, equality and truth. And if we do begin weaving together, it will be easier to carry on the work.
The upcoming Women Circle is my invitation to weave together a new garment for each other and for this beautiful planet.
My husband and I have a medicine song called "Weaving". It is part of our Ikaros album "Ceremonia" you can sample here.