You start out as a strand strung between two parents - sometimes one, with the strand flapping in the wind, looking for a second anchor. Occasionally, the web is abandoned after creation, to flutter in the breeze until it secures itself somewhere.
Not all land – most do though, in some place or time.
Once the web is strung, it begins to grow - slowly at first, but with astounding intricacy as and alacrity as the years go on. Before you know it, the initial anchor(s) of the thread are buried in a spiraling pinwheel of fine fibers – some doubling back on themselves, some forming v’s and x’s as line meets line, which leads to another intersection.
This web withstands the rigors of the world it hangs in. It can hold up to the snows and rains – the occasional gust of wind, bitter cold or sweltering heat, the brightest sun or darkest moonless nightscape. The web hangs in until it cannot anymore, and then it’s core disperses, back to the skies, leaving anchors and small nooks of its pattern behind – often connected to other looming patterns of other webs as they grow and connect.
Occasionally the departure of a core of a web is sudden, and unexpected. It flies before the surrounding anchor lines really have time to interweave. It leaves many stronger fibers reeling in the open air. Sometimes they connect again to other pockets of weave – sometimes they, like the core, drift away.
On a very rare occasion – the departure of a core of a web leads to the tightening of its connected strands. Sometimes those strands anticipate the upcoming contraction, and loop round each other and the surroundings as tightly as they can to weather better the change.
Other times, it happens so suddenly the contraction threatens to tighten the pattern such that they collapse into a morass of fiber - twisted and knotted in such a manner that it would be impossible to untangle what remains as individual threads. All that remiains is a twisted rope of lives - stronger than any individual web, but impossibly connected - unable to grow or claim interindependence.
That is what this evening felt like. The bottom dropped out of a big part of my web, but in such a manner that never, until it drifted free in the whistling air, had I noticed that it was an anchor line.
So much of the last decade of life…
Laughter, drunkenness, concern, love, anger, regret, guilt, closeness, trust, truth, lies, hope, song, dance, death, and birth .. all wrapped in a bond of youth, hormone, and happenstance. This tapestry of life owes its pattern to one anchor who had seen to it, unwittingly or no, that a small collection of high school students would pour their heart and souls into a dream.
That is not to say that portions of this pattern might not have been without the anchor – some strands had already crossed.
I will not play the “Wonderful Life” game – what is past has past – and I would change nothing in the forming of the pattern in the weave.
That dream that brought us all together never came to be.
That was what I thought of after I got off the phone – how hard we practiced, and how much we wanted it, and how it all disappeared because of popcorn, a birthday, and Leslie Neilson.
How much of the last 9 years is because of the hopes and organization of that one strand, now lost in the wind?
My web will tighten – the strands I am bound to will glisten with tears like springtime dew in the moonlight. We will mourn the departed strand, as well as those who have found their own paths away from where we sit now, spread between each other in the still dawn of the day after our youth – and the fast approaching sunrise of our oncoming middle age.
We will all weather the contraction – but, for myself, it will be with a sobering realization that much of my existence here and now, is owed to that strand floating free.
I hope with all my heart that the web she left behind is as touched as I was, in what is a very brief connection to a radiant strand of light.