I’m not sure exactly how I arrived at the title for my new book, a sequel to my mother-daughter dialogues in Becoming Flame (2010). But reading this quote by Robert Johnson itself would have been enough:
“Whether called faith, destiny, or the hand of God, slender threads are at work bringing coherence and continuity to our lives. Over time they weave a remarkable tapestry.”
And so I have subtitled Spinning Straw, Weaving Gold: A Tapestry of Mother-Daughter Wisdom.
It seems to me that the metaphor of weaving the stuff of our lives, using the available material at hand, but contributing our own creativity to the outcome, is one to explore and to cherish.
From the intertestamental Wisdom book Sirach we read:
“It is said, blessed are the molders and potters, and the
weavers and handcrafters. Though they are not found
among the judges and the city’s rulers, they keep stable the
fabric of the world, and their prayer is in the exercise of
their trade” (Sirach 38:34).
I had written several dialogues about threads and braiding strands of various elements together in Becoming Flame:
The Daughter asked, “How do you spin all day, and see so little for your effort, and keep from discouragement?”
The Mother answered: “See this little square of texture and design? It is enough to wrap the universe in comfort and warmth.”
The Daughter was perplexed. “How can this be?”
The Mother replied: “Even a few inches of loving intent can spread to span continents. Ask a ray of sun.”
—from Becoming Flame: Uncommon Mother-Daughter Wisdom.
In the new book I have added expanded dialogues, an Introduction to Spinning Straw as a metaphor, and questions for groups.
The Daughter glanced up and saw a spider spinning its web in a corner of the ceiling of the Spinning Room. “See,” she pointed out as the sunlight hit the web, “how she weaves her gossamer net just above our own threadmaking.”
“Yes,” said her Mother, “just as all creatures weave their patterns into the life of the earth and—though we often cannot even see, much less measure them—all add to the richness of Reality.”
“This piece has too many loose threads…” the Daughter lamented, pulling on the errant strands. “They confuse and hinder my work.”
“Thus it is our task to tie them up, as best we can, in sewing as in life. It is the doing of it that teaches us one of the ways God works with the Soul.”
While piecing together colored slices of material that together comprised a circle, the Daughter asked aloud, “Where is the Center of things, and how can I get there?”
“It is where Love resides, and, Daughter of my Heart, you are already there.”