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The Red Thread

A poem by Rachel Jamison Webster reminds us of the “red string of fate,” a belief that certain people are destined to meet in this lifetime.

The "red thread" is a folktale that believes those who are meant to connect in life are connected by an invisible red thread.

I like to imagine
love can pull your essence like red thread
through the cold needle of my life now
without you.

From “Did You See The Sky” by Rachel Jamison Webster

My oldest, closest friend was the one who introduced me to the idea of the “red string of fate.” The “red string” is an ancient belief that certain people are destined to meet throughout their lives and those people are connected by an invisible red thread. In modern American terms, I like to think of it as the idea of kindred spirits, a series of people who, no matter how hard you try, will enter your life and change you.

I thought of the invisible red thread for the first time in years after reading “Did You See the Sky” by Rachel Jamison Webster, which landed in my inbox from Poets.org’s Poem a Day newsletter. Because the concept was explained to me by this friend in particular, I’m partial to believing in it. With some people, words just flow when you meet; it’s as if you’re picking up an ancient conversation that you’d forgotten about from centuries ago. It was this way with the person who introduced me to the red string, and I’ve met others who I’ve felt an uncanny connection with and walked away changed.

The potential existence of destiny and its role in our lives is rife for debate. Nevertheless, we all have our group of kindred spirits, those to whom we are bound by an invisible thread. This week, use the quote above from Webster’s poem as a source of inspiration. Tell the world about the cast of characters in your life, how they’ve affected you, and whether or not you believe in the idea that certain people are destined to play a role in your life. Who knows, maybe the first commenter will be your new best friend.

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