SkyDancer — Tales
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Beautiful Stuff

Confused, in pain and fear, I walk beside water. The lapping soothes, promises surcease.

Gladly I continue down a well-traveled path beside the stream. Many must have come this way; their ghostly presence comforts, too. The waterpath goes into a cavern. The light grows dim, but the earth is cradling solid all round. Nothing evil enters here.

Now the path forks; I go right and up, the smaller branch, climbing spiral stairs of living stone. Turn and turn again, into the heart of the mountain. In this high depth finally I reach a vast empty hall. At the other end is a large open hearth, the fire the only light. In front of it sits an old woman.

"Grandmother, what are you doing?" Ah! it is tatting, an art nearly lost. She beckons me.

When I approach she takes the yards of lace, and before I realize drapes it all over me.

Beautiful stuff! Something finer than flesh, it sinks through my skin, glowing deep into me ...and unites with itself already there!

Beautiful stuff! Web of life, energy of creation—dancing endless shifting patterns of dazzling lace. Now I know myself: I am the beautiful stuff. I weave this body around me, it is my dance. I am the dancer, and I am the dance. I am the weaver weaving myself, the web.

Weaving my world, sometimes I make mistakes. To make art, you have to make mistakes. You try again, you work around them, you work through them. Often enough, what started as mistake, generates new design.

Pain is just a mistake. It's okay to make mistakes. I am not the mistake, I am the beautiful stuff.

"But Grandmother, how do I stand the pain?"

"Keep in Dancing Mind," she says.

© Copyright 1990 Catherine Holmes Clark