The Weavers’ Threads
Diana Creel Elarde
What they called him and who he was, wasn’t the same. After a while I think even he forgot his real name, his beginning and the people who named him. I can’t say I respected him, but I didn’t mind sitting and hearing him speak. His voice was pleasant enough and he told a great story. Story was certainly his gift.
Unless you consider sitting around and waiting for handouts to come to you, he could do that too! And there are many who think that’s a talent.
I was just passing through a rough time when I met him. On my way to a new life plan I had, or thought I had. I wasn’t going to stay down and knew I could come out on the other side of a good dream. As determined as I was, he was not. I never met anyone so disinterested in their next move, their next plan. He never went beyond the moment, the here, the now.
All of life’s time seemed to matter to him in the one exact moment he was in. Had no real opinions and he never thought he needed one. But his audience, his camp followers grew every day. Simply enough he took them out of their lives into the world of his story. They laughed when he laughed and they sighed right at the spot where a good writer would have placed a comma. They sat unaware of the noise, the smell or the dilapidated buildings around them. His power of story so strong they believed what he created.
Soon they too felt no need for shelter, for ambition, for food. They had only a need for him.
I sat to the side and listened to his story, to the smooth laughter and sing song words he wove. They didn’t have the same affect on me. Granted they were good words strung together just right. But I was given my own words and they were the only ones I would listen to.
Still, I was fascinated by his art. It was like watching a weaver choose their colored yarns and weave them together in such a pattern, that you would spend hours absorbed on how well they matched, and the story the threads told.
Up the empty streets away from where he spoke, I sang my own words to keep myself sane, to keep my ambition in order to move out of the world of despair.
One day a man stopped me on the street, asking about the man with the story. What does he say, I was questioned. I took it as an opportunity. Would I say he spoke of the goodness of man, the flight of the people or words to create personal power and dissention? I knew in that moment I had the power to weave whatever story I saw fit. And I, like the creator of all words, could honor or condemn his words, even his life.
Knowing the heart of most men, my decision was easy. My ambitions led me to the obvious answer, really the only one he wanted to hear.
Why the negative I told the man, smiling slightly as I began to weave my own story. By the time I was done fear walked with us. Even I was afraid of the person I had been able to create. But it worked! The man wanted more, wanted to pay me for more. Wickedly, I counted on that and on the payments he would give me.
I counted the cash as I walked away, knowing this would be only the beginning. Not only would he be willing to pay, there would be others, so many others. All I had to do was create the fear, the worry they all wanted to hear. Their troubled souls would make it easy. Easy, peasy, I thought as I flopped the money down for shelter for the first time in weeks.
It was in the night, in the bed I had paid for that conscience came calling. It woke me so clearly from my paid slumber, wanting justice for the injustice I had created. I argued at first, tried to dismiss it and then settled for looking at a dark ceiling as it went through the stages of my crime.
Would it have been that hard to tell his message of peace of love? Could I have created profit from the serenity of spirit he so created with his words?
Only a small profit I argued back which would not sustain me. I rolled to my side blanket tucked up over my head and clouded out those voices that would argue with me and my plan.
And life became good. More people came to me, to hear the story, my opinions and methods to deal with the growing concerns they had.
Why is it fear can grow so much faster than love? What makes us latch on to the negative words that were spoken and create a life, a meaning, that was never there?
So easy it was to control them all. I laughed while upping my life style, never giving a thought to anyone or anything except my next great meal and the comfort of my new shiny shoes. My crisis of conscience was quite gone as I waited eagerly for the next tale I could tell which brought me more dollars.
I can’t say I felt bad the day they finally came for him. It took so many words from me to get them to finally act. In a way I was glad it was over. I could go on now and create a different story. So bored I had become with his. I was surprised by his followers, the ones who moved in closer trying to stop his removal. They were adamant in repeating his stories of peace, his message of love, but they had no power to get the fearful to listen. Those words had no meaning without the weaver’s voice. I almost felt sorry for them.
But, it was so much easier to walk around in my lovely new shoes, I wasn’t willing to feel that bad.