This I Believe

Linda - Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Entered on October 9, 2006
Age Group: 65+

Boxes in the Attic

We make our own gods. This I believe.

I knew this when I went to the attic of my mind to clean out some boxes. I go there more often than I once did. I sort and dust. Sometimes I empty a box or two and carry the trash away to the garbage.

Life resides in the attic, in the center of this place. I just have to get rid of things to find it, to find the truth of it. My boxes hold the unexamined. Things given and packed away so long ago they became hardwired and yet forgotten.

Fewer boxes remain here, the smaller ones held dear. I see life’s golden glow and venture closer. I expect to find the switch box, the master of the whole electrical system, but I find a loom instead. A loom and a weaver.

Perhaps she is Navajo, Hopi, Lacota, Inuit, Polynesian perhaps, or anyone for whom weaving means life. She sorts thick, colored threads with long, stiff mummy-like fingers. She looks at me, but her weathered face reveals only the upturn of her lips and kind eyes. We do not speak.

A blanket three-quarters finished occupies the loom. The pattern swirls with soft blacks and grays around a vibrant blue disc, off to the left side. Light reflects from random pinpoints. Sparkle? Dust? The blanket’s bumpy textures invite sleep and promise warmth. A line of green threads undulates and caresses the pattern near the edge. The weaver picks up her shuttle and turns to the loom. But she reverses her weaving.

She removes the green threads. Stop! I want to stop the weaver. Each tug stabs my heart. It’s not my life she pulls away but my daughter, Margaret’s. Margaret, loved like a daughter.

The weaver pauses and points to another blanket. Three smaller blankets I had not noticed lie stretched on wooden frames near the loom. One is green.

I don’t understand, but I want the green threads. Don’t take the line out. The green line enlivens. It brings joy. I shall miss it.

I am a box-saver as my mother was. Once strong enough to empty an attic box, which is good, I sometimes save the box. I keep it downstairs, not in the attic. I think it might be acceptable to save a few little, empty boxes. They might come in handy. I will not use them to store new things. These recycled boxes I put to use for presents or for mailing packages, never for storage. I no longer store things in the attic. Packing things away, storing them, unexamined, shuts out the light, the light of the weaver.