We tell stories for one simple reason…

For every hundred hours I spend in the process of story telling, there are a few moments of gold. I say ‘in the process of story telling’ because the process of telling stories is much larger than the simple tap, tap, tap of the keys, the satisfying swish of the pen, or the melody of a voice… The sharing of our stories is a process. An infinite, ever-evolving process, a process that calls on every level of our being if we let it, if we go there. We tell stories with our eyes, with our smiles, with our caresses. We tell stories with the way and the where of our walk. We tell stories in our minds that never make it to our lips, get caught up before our fingertips. We tell a story with every story from ‘out there’ that we accept. Even the places in us absent of stories tell a chapter or three.

And we tell stories for one simple reason – We can’t help it. We are stories. Every atom a story of creation. Every growth spurt, every healed injury, every touch transcribed in the story of our flesh. Every relationship, every interaction beamed into ‘The Emotional Story of Me’. Every new intellectual discovery stored… ‘Stored’… ‘Storey’… ‘Story’… Held, layered, ‘story-ed’.

And for some of us, we find our ‘everydayness’ too small to adequately convey the complex and beautiful and divine stories of our complex and beautiful and divine selves… So we write, we paint, we sing, we dance, we sculpt, we create things beyond the bare and logical necessities of life because there are greater, wider, more dazzling dimensions of our selves that demand to be made manifest… And they may not be essential to our physical bodies breathing…. But then again, they may be. And alright, you got me, it’s not just ‘some of us’, it’s all of us. All of us with our powerful waves of narrative eternally kissing the shore.

For me, it’s writing… And it’s cooking, and singing, and dancing, and playing with small children, and giving great massages, and orating in a hundred different dramatic voices. It’s sighing in a way only I can sigh when tender parts of me are caressed, it’s holding your gaze and asking a question a little deeper, it’s the untranslatable duologue between me and the trees.

I wrote a story today… It feels like one of those moments of gold…

The Parable of The Persian Merchant.

I have a vision of you…

I have a vision of you standing before a Persian rug merchant, looking around his shop in awe at the abundance of it…

So many pieces of fine weaving, so many different styles, so many different colours, so many different mats…
So, so many that it seems only some invisible kind of magic is stopping them from spilling out onto the street.
You look at the owner of this fine establishment, his pride in his work and his wares obvious, and you say ‘I would like your finest rug please.’
He grins.
With nimble hands, he pulls a rug out from a pile in front of him and brings it closer for you to see.
You cast a cursory eye over it but you’re already shaking your head.
‘Oh no’ you say ‘Not that one.’
You can see it’s a well made piece… But the colours just… Aren’t for you.

Then you realise you haven’t told this sweet man the colours you’re looking for, or the size, or the shape…
How silly! Of course they are all high quality, you have come to the most respected Persian rug merchant in all the world! As for the ‘finest’ though, that all depends on what you’re looking for!
You quickly list more details of what you’re looking for – the size, the colours, the shape…
Totally unperturbed, the dear seller walks deliberately to a corner where various mats are rolled up and standing on their ends. He chooses one and brings it over to you…

You watch as he unfurls it in front of you…
Oh yes! So much more ‘you’!
You stand and visualize this rug adorning your floor.
You reach down and feel the soft ply.
It’s so close… So close to what you were looking for…
So close… But not quite.
You can’t articulate what’s ‘missing’…
‘Ah well’ you think ‘Near enough is good enough.’
It is a beautiful piece.
‘I’ll take it’ you say, ignoring that tiny, tiny sliver of dissatisfaction nagging at you.

‘Are you sure?’ asks our merchant.
‘Yes’ you say.
‘You’re sure it’s what you’re looking for?’ he asks again.
‘Yes’ you say, thinking that surely this is as close as you will get to ‘perfect’.
There is a twinkle in his eye as he watches you roll it up and begin to search for your gold coins.
‘Maybe you should come back tomorrow’ he says ‘Maybe tomorrow the perfect rug will be here waiting for you. This is not the one for you.’ And, quick as a flash, he takes the rolled up carpet and hides it in a maze of its friends… It could take you hours to find that particular rug again.

You stare at him in disbelief! You were just about to buy that one! You had your coins ready! What kind of a mad salesman doesn’t let his customers buy?! You don’t want to come back tomorrow, you want to take it home now! How dare he!? You start to huff.

‘You come back tomorrow.’ the merchant says, smiling at your agitation as he hustles you out of his ship. ‘You come back tomorrow’ he says again ‘I have other customers waiting today. You come back tomorrow.’
Taken aback, and rather annoyed, you head home.

The next day sees you back at the merchant’s store…
Even though you told yourself on the walk home yesterday ‘That’s it! I’m not going back! He blew it!’, today you found yourself drawn here as if by that same magic that keeps the whole shop from tumbling out onto the sidewalk.

You walk in and your head brushes the bell, its chimes draw the shop owner’s attention.
He grins. A glimmer of the mystic flashes across his face.
‘Who is this man?’ you think to yourself ‘There is something strange about him.’
From the very back of his shop, he brings a mat and lays it at your feet.
‘This is the one you were looking for.’ he says with no hint of a question in his voice. It’s like he knew exactly what you were looking for all along, even the details you couldn’t manage to articulate… You suddenly get it that the drama of yesterday, the presentation of other rugs and the act of sending you home, it was all a game to him…

You look him in the eye; he gives an almost imperceptible nod. You let out the breath you didn’t realise you were holding and finally, for the first time since you found his shop, you smile. You smile big and bright and you get it…
This is a game.

With the smile still playing on your lips and lighting up your eyes, you look down.
You look down at the piece of artwork rolled out before you.
You look at the colours, the patterns, the size, and the shape, and tears well in your eyes…
You kneel down and press your cheek to its luxurious fibers, the physical, sensory voice of ecstasy.

From the floor, you look up and meet his eyes. He who has been standing there watching you the whole time, he who kindly refused to sell you the rug you would have settled for, he who made you wait and smiled at your impatience. You look up and him and you see this inexplicable love and delight in his eyes… And finally, you get it…

You know who he is…

And you know that every single strand of this tapestry was woven just for you…

Before you even thought to visit this little place, before you could even haltingly describe what you wanted… This piece, this perfect piece for you, was being custom-made, lovingly hand-woven, strand by perfect strand.

Stay on your knees a moment longer.

I have a vision of you…

x
Gabriellaindex