So, in the absence of Dozavtra I have been doing a lot of DVD watching lately (this being the only form of moving pictures available to you when you have neither a t.v. nor much of an inclination to look in mirrors). And since I only own 4 DVDs, of which one is Shrek 2 and 3 are The Lord of the Rings, I've been re-watching The Lord of the Rings. That last sentence had a lot of numbers. I apologise. They were all small though.
Whether it be the film or the book, the epic tale of Frodo and the Fellowship carries me away every time - to the great myths and legends of primary school 'history' lessons, the wonder of longed-for and still-to-come adventure as I grew into teenage years and the pain of trying to discover my place in the great 'tapestry of life' as an adult.
It seems to me that we all want to be part of that great tapestry; more than that, we all see that we have no choice. We all have stories, be they grand or unimpressive, which weave together with the lives of those we meet on the journey and slowly, surely, form a bigger picture - a main character here, an irrelevant detail there, or a thread almost unnoticed and yet essential in the background.
So often I long to be a character in the big picture, to be seen, to be significant - even to be that for one other person, who will look back and say that I mattered. And yet, we live life unable to see what the picture will be. We cannot tell from this side of eternity where we will fit. When we see the full work of art, my little thread of life may be the spear in the hand of a great warrior, or the stalk of an apple in a basket lying half-hidden behind a tree. But whatever my part in this skilfully woven picture, it is there precisely because it is part of the picture; precisely because the artist wanted to put it there; precisely because the picture would not have been complete without it.
For the record, I hope that I turn out to be that little thread which you don't really see, but which puts a little twinkle into someone's eye, or the turn of a smile to someone's mouth, or the hint of mischief in the face of the child who's eyeing up the basket of apples...