Tonight, an art opening for the staff art show at VSC, someone asks if I want a beer. I say “sure, pick whichever one” out of the many choices. This is what she brings me:
A Magic Hat brewery ale, called Blind Faith. I cracked up, because I had of course already chosen the word thread, super aware of how things stacked up today, small experiences leading to continuity or arc.
It is hard to talk straight-faced in public about things like magic, leaps of faith, chance, the thin seam vibrated at the center of experience––unless surrounded by artists. Thankfully, I am for the next year.
Magic. The most constant motif these last few months. The thread rivered through my experiences, after my friend John took me to a magic show last October in San Francisco. Because a friend bowed out at the last moment. Sounds corny, I know, the word debased into children’s birthday parties and awkward silences, quarters pulled from ears. But it was stupendous. Mind bending, joyous. Instead of feeling like an adult at a children’s party, we felt like the five year olds, dangling in the arms of suspended disbelief. This is the photo I took that night, the curtain and magician's table, after the show. It was my screen saver until this spring:
Then it became the thread of my days. On my drive here, a long Canadian by-way somewhere between the border and Toronto, I realize I am almost on empty, and pull thankfully into one of those weird and lovely gas station/mini market/express restaurant stops civilized countries provide on their freeways. As I am running inside to relieve an over extended bladder, I look up, and this is the sign above my head:
Now, this sign might not seem like a sign, unless you are a person looking for signs. Which, apparently I now am. I laughed, which seems the gateway to happiness (glee, rapture, jubilance, ecstasy, bliss) or perhaps the string that binds it, a tatted lace doily. The tenuous substructure of possibility. A new string theory. The next day, this:
The word faith has been co-opted by religion, but it is also entwined with " complete trust or confidence in someone or something, belief, confidence, conviction; optimism, hopefulness, and hope." Handmaidens to happiness.
And almost every day, for the past week:
Turning, and twisting, constancy, arc, a bound rotation. Johnson, VT, is surrounded by windmills, that generate energy from the unknown movement of air. Science, and yet, if you allow yourself the thin stream of pleasure of being a child at a friend’s party, magic. They make me smile, like snow.
I could post twenty more examples. The DNA of experience and sensation, passion and desire, failure and success, all hung on a hair’s breadth of chance. How bizarre that the line between real and unreal is a strand or chain, a train of thought::invite it in::float the stream::believe::step into a different plot::stare into a different eye::thread it:: make one's way::avoid obstacles::mend.
1. a long, thin strand of cotton, nylon, or other fibers used in sewing or weaving.
cotton, nylon, or other fibers spun into long, thin strands and used for sewing (filament, fiber, yarn, string, twine)
2. a thing resembling a thread in length or thinness, in particular.
literary a long, thin line or piece of something. "the river was a thread of silver below them" (streak, strand, stripe, line, strip, seam, vein)
a theme or characteristic, typically forming one of several, running throughout a situation or piece of writing. (gist, train of thought, drift, direction, theme, motif, tenor, storyline, plot, through line, of a conversation)
3. a group of linked messages posted on an Internet forum that share a common subject or theme.
a programming structure or process formed by linking a number of separate elements or subroutines, especially each of the tasks executed concurrently in multithreading.
4. a raised helical ridge or rib that winds on the outside of a screw, bolt, etc., or on the inside of a cylindrical hole, to allow two parts to be screwed together; a threaded screw.
5. a slender stream
6. something continuous or drawn out;
a line of reasoning or train of thought that connects the parts in a sequence (as of ideas or events) <lost the thread of the story>
a continuing element <a thread of melancholy marked all his writing>
a series of messages following a single topic
7. a tenuous or feeble support
1. pass a thread, string, rope into or through the eye of or hole in something, or through the guides of.
pass (a long, thin object or piece of material) through something and into the required position for working use. (pass, string, work, ease, push, poke, weave, inch, wind, squeeze, make)
move carefully or skillfully in and out of obstacles.
interweave or intersperse as if with threads. “hair threaded with gray”
to put (film or tape) into a movie camera, tape recorder, etc., so that it is ready to be used
to move forward by turning and going through narrow spaces: twist, twine
put or fix things together or singly on a thread, chain, or skewer that runs through the center of each one.
to make one’s way, thus
2. cut a screw thread in or on (a hole, screw, or other object).
3. to put together on, or as if on a thread: string
4. to interweave with, of as if with threads: intersperse, lace, weave, wreathe, lace
Old English thrǣd (noun), of Germanic origin; Old English thrāwan ‘to cause to twist or turn’, related to Dutch draad and German Draht, ‘wire,’ also to the verb 'throw'.