The Tapestry

 Once, when the wind was blowing fierce from the west, an old woman sat down at her loom to weave. It was what she always did when the wind blew from the west, because that kind of wind is always particularly vicious and hard on an old woman's rheumatism. Surely, thought the villagers who saw her painstaking work through the window, there were other amusements that could entertain in the evening hours. Baking bread or something of that sort. But no one ever offered her that advice. No one offered to speak with her about anything. She was, after all, a very old woman.

    That she was old was coupled with the fact that the tapestry itself was odd. There was an interweaving of curious colors and stranger patterns. The fabric had been worked and reworked so often that many threads had split, course and uneven, giving the incomplete work the illusion of moving in an uncanny way over the blurs that made up the peculiar piece.

    Then there was the fact that it was never for sale.

    Why bother with such a pastime? thought the villagers. No one saw the point. No one saw the point of her. Not really.

    Then, she died - a fact too long delayed for having lived alone in a village that did not pay attention. But the villagers found her all the same, her fingers having slipped from her loom as suddenly as her last sleep, or possibly death itself, had come upon her. Their eyes moved from the body to the tapestry. The work seemed to move more than it ever had, even as much as the old woman's body did not. As it moved, the villagers saw it then. The story. Each of their stories. Told with charity and grace - a fanciful fiction written in moving pictures on a tapestry by someone who had paid attention with kindness.

    It moved them. To care and comment and question, an interweaving of persons. Which was, to the old dead woman, what had always been the point.

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