The following is the audio recording of this story intended to make this site more accessible to vision impaired and those that prefer to listen to a good story.
Today’s story has been penned in the dark of night as a method to cause demons to move fluidly and move on… permanently. It is a story that weaves years of one life into the tapestry of many other lives. The Weavers be our very selves and as we weave more dangling threads appear. Each thread is another opportunity that could have been followed but not all threads can be entertained hence, those threads become dropped for another time or maybe another Weaver. The thing is when there are too many dropped threads a Weaver may find their own story start to fragment. Fragmented or not, the threads must be woven or tied off to prevent risk of unravelling.
Today’s story begins with an art show opening in a little shop in a mid-sized town. The art show contained the same encaustic work you could find on another page of this very website. But art was not the place where things unravelled enough for the taunting of the demons that come in the form of nightmares. Art is the place where dropped threads are fragmented pieces woven back into their Weaver’s life. For the Weaver those threads are suspended in layers of wax and resin where they wait for another layer of wax and resin to be imprinted and fused. Once the layers are deemed complete they are given a name, priced, hung, and called art. It is from the wall that they beckon for the pocket books of new Weavers and find a new home.
Years ago, in that mid sized town, a young Weaver was in art school. A number of years later that Weaver dropped the art school thread and chose policing. Only a couple evenings ago that Weaver walked by one of their university professor’s art installations. That installation started by being etched and marked on copper plates which were then bricked, one after the other, until a grand entrance wall was built, copper etched story after copper etched story staged for all to view at the local theatre. The dropped thread of art appeared to ask to be woven again into that young Weaver’s life, a life that was no longer unilaterally young but young only by comparison.
Before this dropped thread could be woven there was another memory of another art instructor who spoke of intention and the requirement to know your intent before you place the work for public viewing. That same instructor also required you know your medium and your metaphors because ignorance, in using any of the named tools, meant intent was not clear. “Intent was everything”, that professor would say. Intent was everything in art school and then it became everything in policing. Moving from art to policing meant employing laws and applying them to critical situations while insuring intent of all involved, legislation and human, was clear. In retrospect intent really did appear to be everything.
Shortly before this story was penned in the dark of night a daytime chest of memories creaked open. It was a long time since this art school chest of memories had been touched, evident as the rusted hinges groaned and resisted disturbance from their very Weaver. Those rusted hinges protected memories of a third art school Professor. This Professor taught by requiring each student trust their process in order to allow what was created speak its respective truth. That professor did not talk about understanding intent and articulating details , but you were certainly notified intent was integral when the marks were issued…
…marks… marks … marks… My mind wanders from the numeric grade to the mark found on a piece of art, a mark that knows all stories have places where they are suspended and pondered as they are woven into the tapestry of time. This suspension and pondering is where all stories house, or veil, their intent.
Yesterday that art school student was no longer youthful and wide eyed having just moved to the big city. That art school student was, as of yesterday, middle aged and living in a mid sized town, the same town that years ago was seen as the big city. Yesterday the story of art and policing were found to be a newsworthy curiosity and a Reporter attended the art show in that little shop. The Artist was myself and the Reporter was unknown. Somehow these two Weavers met and the Artist found something curious articulated by the Reporter. The Reporter mentioned, in passing, one of their parents had been a police officer for many years, nearly four decades in fact. The Reporter further shared that their father now lived with holes in their memory.
The Reporter described their parent’s memory as being “fragmented”. The Reporter said the stories this parent now tells are familiar but shared as if parted out in an automotive chop shop. The curious comment made sense to the Artist, and it beckoned to be penned into the Artist Weaver’s story. It was a picked up dropped thread that also found irony in the fact that the Reporter was simultaneously weaving their interpretation of that very same meeting. The Reporter will be confined to a 500 -700 word story. Considering the subject and the tight word count the Artist Weaver suspects the Reporter Weaver would require a clear intent in order to keep the story on task. The Artist Weaver wished the Reporter Weaver all the best in accomplishing the task.
As the Reporter Weaver and Artist Weaver parted ways the Reporter asked the Artist “What would you like to see in print for the future Reader”? The Artist said, “Everyone has a story, know your own story and employ compassion”. The Artist shared that when we fail to take time to know our story our mind becomes susceptible to fragmentation. The Artist said “Once any story is understood, gently allow the pieces ready to retire from memory to do just that, retire. It is how we heal. It is how art and policing fuse between layers of encaustic and find themselves beckoning for a new life in a new home.”
So the nightmares come and the Artist is myself, a middle aged woman holding fragments ready to be woven back into my respective tapestry, my story. The nightmares are a familiar thread in that fragmentation but today they house a piece of curiosity they have never previously disclosed. That curiosity is the intent of this story and soon to be unveiled. The curiosity softly calls “We may not know who is reporting on whom but we do know there is wisdom even in nightmares”. It is an odd statement and somehow I manage to extrapolate that nightmares happen only after being brave. The nightmares come when bravery imprints on the surface of our very lives knowing a different understanding of our authentic self will result and demand to be fused, before being woven into our future.
The thing is now that I, the Artist, know this fact I will also weave a Hunter into my tapestry. That Hunter will inform any future nightmares I will meet them again, on my terms, for I am brave. They used to thieve me of my sleep but now I know their intent is to call out authenticity in a world of muddled messages. My Hunter will seek them out and clarify their meanings before they become hauntings. My Hunter will help yet I know the nightmares will return.
I say to that nightmare screaming in my mind until my voice could call loud enough and wake my body, I say I will hunt you. I will hunt all of you, one by one. That hunt will be on my own time and at my own pace for I am powerful and this is my story, my weave, my tapestry. You will not scare me from knowing my story and affording myself compassion.
JT Murphy signing off for sleep, approximately 1,300 words later.
For more stories here is the link to “Stories by Grayeyes” .