I spent some time today thinking about the ways I’ve approached solving some problems and making concerted efforts to avoid others. By remaining as simple as possible, but no simpler. Respecting consistency, but not a foolish one. Learning from mistakes, golden rules, sitting with one’s self and being honest about what’s working and what isn’t. Struggling with my own delusion, until epiphany comes in the form of a phrase, such as, “It can’t be everyone else’s fault..” or “Is there something I don’t know here?”
As one of the more resplendent rugs from a beloved room in my life loses its warp, knots come undone, the yarns themselves are unraveling. Carpet beetles. Short, bitten filaments. I only have a view of this room now; it’s not a primary residence, though it is a place I remember inhabiting with so much fondness, my bare feet in the pile as much as on it, and a small hook in my pocket.
The rug is made, I imagine, in the middle eastern tradition, though the flaws no doubt were inadvertently introduced – no issue with introducing deliberate errors with the goal of avoiding hubris.
I loved the patterns, the juxtapositions of color, the big tableau/picture, how things fit together. The day I left the room was the day I knew I couldn’t contribute to it in a way I felt was adequate – my attempts at repair could be labeled, at best, as meaning well, or worse, as good intentions. I thought I saw some problems in the weave, in the warp, but my fingers weren’t fast or skilled enough to make the repairs.
Over time, I have seen the yarns fray, though I’m not sure it’s foot traffic or something more innate. Wool doesn’t last forever, no matter what the tapestries of Ghent may tempt us to believe. But this has made me wonder – so many places where it comes undone cannot be the work of a single loosened knot. What happened? How could I not see the many places, now gaping and rent, that other, more deft hands struggle to restore to some degree of opacity?
But maybe, just maybe, rugs are meant to be worn, foot paths making little gullies in the yarn arabesques, since they’re made for the floor, beneath our soles. Those using them are only human, and perhaps can’t be expected to always look for the big picture. They have to get from here to there, one corner of the room to another, to another doorway. Their door, their way. Maybe they spill their coffee on the way. Or maybe they just got tired of the rug.