Wednesday, August 2, 2017


While wandering the alleys of Fès' medina, I began to notice nails wrapped in coloured thread jutting out from the old stone walls— some nails entirely cocooned into soft balls. I remembered climbing the hill to an orthodox church on Büyükada shortly after Easter once, where the devout had tied threads from the top to the bottom of the hill in prayer, wishing for the things we often wish for— good health, fortune, love... My mind then travelled to the Fates, weaving our lives into a vast tapestry, then to the many knotted bracelets my students in Nepal tied around my wrists.

Though I suspected the reason for these pretty bursts of colour was more banal, I still hoped to find something special at the end of the threads that extended beyond their cocoons. Stretched across buildings and down the alleys, a multitude of colours were being twisted into threads which were wound around spools by quick and elegant fingers.

To think of what these threads would someday make— someone's favourite scarf, or the embroidery on a well-worn djellaba— a gift of a blanket, to be wrapped around a loved one...


Sue Pownall said...

How lovely - and very observant of you.

szaza said...

Isn't it lovely?