We’ve all met someone who has been in our life before we actually met them. People who have been at the same places at points in time as you have – but you don’t actually meet them until years later; friends we’ve made through seemingly random connections; being drawn to a person in a strange and exciting way.
Whether it’s meeting the love of your life because you were having the worst morning or chatting with a stranger and hearing something you just totally needed to hear that day. A broken shoe, missing the bus, stuck in traffic… things that cause your normal hectic routine to force you to slow down an open a door for that person to enter – pushing you to be somewhere at a certain moment in time. I believe that we have each have a destiny, a fate – but I believe there are many means in which to get there. Many threads to follow, many paths to travel, and many choices made in arriving.
One old story featuring the red string of fate involves a young boy. Walking home one night, a young boy sees an old man (Yue Xia Lao) standing beneath the moonlight. The man explains to the boy that he is attached to his destined wife by a red thread. Yue Xia Lao shows the boy the young girl who is destined to be his wife. Being young and having no interest in having a wife, the young boy picks up a rock and throws it at the girl, running away. Many years later, when the boy has grown into a young man, his parents arrange a wedding for him. On the night of his wedding, his wife waits for him in their bedroom, with the traditional veil covering her face. Raising it, the man is delighted to find that his wife is one of the great beauties of his village, and he notices she wears an jewel on her eyebrow. Asking her why she wears it – she replies that when she was a young girl, a boy threw a rock and it struck her on the eyebrow and left a scar. The woman is, in fact, the same young girl connected to the man by the red thread shown to him by the old man back in his childhood. They were connected by the red string of fate.
In Japanese culture you find the same line of thinking except it is destined lovers tied around the pinky fingers by a red string. Similar in thought to western views of “soul mates”, only the west doesn’t have the string in there, but same idea. Destiny. Fate.