Balancing the Weave
By M.W. Lee (aka Marshall)
Colonial Heights, VA: JMS Books, 2023
Anansi, god of the storytellers, has a story to tell.
The gods have never left humanity and some have moved with humans, across continents, across oceans, transforming themselves as human cultures changed and transformed over time and place.
They are still looking after us, even if we no longer believe, having relegated them to myth and dreams. In Balancing the Weave, the Three Fates, here reimagined, as the Triumvirate Sisters, Clotho, Parcae, and Moirae, still “weave tapestries in the colors, lengths, and patterns which suggest themselves to the Sisters’ discerning eyes,” These goddesses “decide who a person might become .. [as] Humans always choose from the opportunities the goddesses present.”
In this story, the Sisters are interested in the life of Mark, a young gay man in fictional Yamasee County, in South Carolina. The goddesses are displeased with Mark, who has become a selfish and self-centered lover. His last breakup was hurtful, and he is convinced himself the blame rests entirely on his ex. They want to offer him another choice, a new pattern, but he needs to grow, and realize his role in the breakup. He must “comprehend neediness.” I would argue he needs to grow up. Mark is denial of the truth of his actions and their consequences, and the limitations of his friends who are shallow and self-centered.
The work of the goddesses, through dream and memory, begins on Pride Weekend. Will Mark see he shares the blame? Can he accept he may be fault? Will he see that he needs to grow up?
I didn’t find Mark likeable at first, but I found myself cheering him on as he started to tell himself the truth. Growth is sometimes painful, even as it is necessary. There is hope that Mark might come to recognize that with love comes mutual respect, responsibility, and caring, and that we are all needy in one way or another.
This a well-told tale indeed.
Posted: 12 March 2023