We are each braiding thousands of strings of different colours, some thin and some thick, some curly and some straight, some long and some short. With an infinite colour palette, with a variety of thicknesses and textures, we create our own braids, with our own hands, reflecting our unique characters.

Some strings are braided in from the start to the end. Others are there at the start, but only braided in later. We collect new ones along the way and braid them in from that point on. Some are braided in and then left to hang around on their own from thereon. Some knot, so we focus on unknotting them, before continuing.

Sometimes we split the braid to make more than one braid. Sometimes we braid them back together again, and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes a braid is combined with someone else’s. Some of these together-braids stay, and others run out and disappear.

At the end of this life, there are some bits that are neatly braided in, and some that are not. Some bits remain knotted, and some stand apart, un-braided. Some ends spread like the unruly bristles of an old brush. Some are relaxed and others are frazzled. Some make you happy and some make you sad. Some hold pain, and some hold joy.

The root of the braid, the strings, the splits, the knots, the blends remain forever part of it, even when the braid becomes much longer, so that some of these fade out of sight. You continue the braid, in this life, in the everlasting life, in the next life. An incomplete, beautiful mess.

I am glad that life is not a perfect braid.

© Leonie Vorster 2020

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