fate 1: the principle or determining cause or will by which things in general are supposed to come to be as they are or events to happen as they do: destiny 2: whatever is destined or decreed 3: final outcome 4: the three goddesses of classical mythology who determine the course of human life - Webster's Collegiate Dictionary
This painting, "The Three Fates," by contemporary artist Katrin Wiese hangs in my living room. Wiese paints in narrative, often inventing characters and strange worlds. Here, she interpreted mythology. I bought it for its power and the whimsy of Clotho's hair made into a sail and her hands held in the energy flow of yoga mudras as she spins the thread of life. Note the bounty of a bowl of berries at Lachesis' elbow and her hand on the tiller. And the way Atropos, shrinks behind with her shears, prepared to cut the thread of some poor soul. But even so, flowers float on the water and there is a sense of beauty and purpose in the ebb-and-flow of life.
I plan to spotlight artworks on this blog from time-to-time, and at this moment I'm drawn to the Fates. I suddenly remembered a fairytale I started to write sometime ago about a girl who is destined to fall again and again from high places. The princess goes to find the Fates and ask why this is her lot, beginning with a power-hungry uncle who tossed her from the top of a tower. Unfortunately for him, she survived with just a scratch.
She finds the Fates on a mountaintop. They are surrounded by skeins of yarn in every color imaginable. Great tapestries billow in the wind, swirling with images.
"Why is my lot to fall?" The Princess sees no point in mincing words.
Clothos, her hair glittering with sunlight, barely glances from her spinning. "Into every life rain must fall."
"Without rain, no growth." Lachesis measures the lengths of yarn.
"Fine. It must rain, but I don't see why it must be a cyclone or a flood. And what's that got to do with me falling?"
"We came on the day of your birth and foresaw what your uncle would do. It may have been the early end of you, but you burned with such courage and resilience, it seemed to us you should bounce instead of break. And so it is." Atropos squinted out of rheumy eyes and pointed a gnarled finger at the Princess.
"I spend a lot of time falling." The Princess tapped her foot with impatience.
"Every gift has its price."