I have sometimes wondered to what extent
The pattern of the threads
I have woven into the tapestry of my life
Had already been arranged by the one
Who also placed the shuttle in my hands.
It was a simple pattern initially
And I could follow it easily enough.
Then I had ideas
About how it could be improved for my benefit.
And before long I made changes
Which altered its look and its feel.
And while it was still recognisible
There were subtle differences
And even some not so subtle.
And there were threads which broke regularly.
Was the problem with the pattern?
Or my carelessness? My changes?
Or were they the result of my deliberate actions?
There were certainly threads I deliberately cut
And did so happily,
Though others later caused both regret and sorrow.
I often tried entirely new patterns
Completely starting from scratch
But almost always there was a recognition
Of a lack of desire on my part
To put in the required effort
Or of an attraction to another
Newer style or colour of thread.
I have sometimes also wondered
What the tapestry of my life
Might have looked like
If I had continued with some of those other patterns
I had thought I might try -
What O’Donohue refers to as
‘The lives you didn’t lead.’
But, overall, it may be possible,
That with the shuttle and the thread
And the pattern I was initially given,
I may have woven a tapestry worth hanging.