Revisitation • Read Thread Expectations • open-edition giclée print

The thread is crimson. The thread is invisible. The thread is not even a thread.

The thread is desire. The thread is destiny, fate, the future. The thread is lust and/or love. The thread binds us together when we are far apart. The thread is freedom from searching.

The thread is the expected answer.

I once got into an interesting discussion with my brother about the movie Signs, directed by M. Night Shyamalan. He absolutely hated the ending. 

Not for the reasons most people complain about the film (yes, absolutely, it was a poor decision on the aliens’ part to invade a planet that has a free-flowing toxic substance covering 71% of its surface. I can write that off to desperation. Also, humans jump out of airplanes with nothing but a flimsy piece of canvas keeping them from going splat on good ‘ol Terra Firma, so, there is that. Sentient beings do weird shit). 

Rather, he hated the idea that everything was destiny, that each personal tic, bad habit, or past tragedy was an ingredient needed to rebuff the aliens. And therefore, that the alien invasion itself was nothing more than a catalyst for this family to be reborn in their faith in each other and a greater power. 

It didn’t bother me so much at the time. For one thing, without that viewpoint, Signs is a fairly by-the-book, nonsensical aline invasion story. Take away the theme of fate, and there’s pretty much no reason to make the movie at all.

More to the point, I don’t have the problems with fate that my brother does. He hates the idea that we are predestined for, well, anything. It is his concrete belief that we weave our own future threads (at least so far as social structure and fluidity allow).

As time goes on, I’ve found myself moving slightly further along the line towards his point of view. I do find the idea of destiny comfortable. I like the thought that life has hidden, eternal meaning. I don’t know if I believe it as strongly as I once did, but I like it in the same way you might like an old pillow. Sure, it’s flat and not particularly comfortable anymore, and it smells a little funky. But just having it around makes you feel at home. Just be sure to hide it under the bed when guests come over.

My dispute with destiny is the apathy it gives rise to.

I speak from personal experience here. People who believe in fate have a tendency to sit back and wait for the universe to unfold for them. 

Inertia predicts that this attitude is as easy to escape as pit filled with a quicksand-molasses-Netflix cocktail. We rarely consider that our deserved future is waiting for us to make it real.

Red Thread Expectations ties down the tenth spot on the list of prints to return the shop.