Chapter 27: Done and Off the Loom

(C) 2011 by Metta Anderson – All Rights Reserved 

When a tapestry is finished, the design may not be evident until it’s removed from the loom, blocked and then hung up. This is true for the story as well.

Almost all the threads have been tied off and allowed to form part of the design. Only two threads remain.

Miami International Airport on any given day, but before its make-over into a set for “Miami Vice,” is a living tapestry of unfinished design. A time-lapse film of passengers arriving and leaving in just one terminal would show this. Dark suits for travellers from the north, bright reds, yellows and greens or blues for others. All moving, all a part of a larger design without thinking about it.

There’s a man coming up to one of the automatic doors leading into the main terminal. He’s tall, dark haired and slender. Maybe around forty, but his age doesn’t show on his face yet. He wears dark brown Italian loafers, well-tailored khaki slacks, a white cotton shirt open at the neck, and an old faded khaki field jacket. He’s already checked his one overnight bag and is on his way to the gate in the concourse ahead of him, to fly back to LA. His ticket and boarding pass are in the upper left breast pocket, inside the jacket. Because the cuffs of the shirt and the jacket are rolled back, his simple watch is visible on his left wrist–leather strap, flat round face. The only thing that sets him apart from the other passengers is that he’s still incredibly handsome, and women watch him pass with hints of a smile, if he looks their way.

A woman is standing in his path, in a simple navy suit and low-heeled navy shoes. She’s been reading the Departures sign over the concourse entry, trying to get her bearings so she can find her flight to Bogotá. Her navy blue purse is held under her upper arm to discourage thieves, a habit she picked up in Bogotá and still finds useful.  Once she finds out where the gate is, she’ll know how much time she has to eat something and make the flight.

There it is–Avianca 955 non-stop, departing Gate 8 Concourse G (way over on her left, she thinks). Okay, now she can get a sandwich.

She turns and stops. The man three feet in front of her stops.

“Grace. . .?”

“Julian. . .”

They hesitate, they smile, they approach.

When they embrace, she feels as if it’s the first time in years that she’s been able to breathe.

“I’m so glad it’s you,” he whispers in her ear.

And now the threads are tied and settle into the tapestry.

Hanging up, the design is abstract. Colors show up in unexpected places, sometimes horizontal, sometimes vertical.  They don’t always match, but their placement causes the eye to move around the design, trying to understand it.

After a while, the weaver takes it down and smoothes it out between clean sheets of tissue paper, and then carefully rolls it up between two pieces of silk. The tapestry is put away, at least for now. Someday, the weaver will pull it out, remove it from its wrappings and hang it up so that others can try to decipher what it means. Interpretation is always open. But everyone will agree that the design has beautiful color and is unique.


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