The Red String of Fate

The Red String of Fate ties soulmates together.

If not unbreakably, at least their respective pinkies together. So, threads not only exist to lead Theseus to the Minotaur, but Ariadne to Dionysus as well.

…Aren’t there too many “soulmates” entangled here?

While researching for the second installment on my novel series, I once came across the East Asian “Red String of Fate” myth–pretty much how it happens when you’re not looking for gold: you’re bound to stumble upon a grain of it on the road… So while I was reading about it, I also came across a couple of pictures with yarns tangled in messy hanks, which looked kind of more realistic than the idealized concept of the myth. And I suspect that the string was not “anointed” red, so as not to evade notice (it’s supposed to be invisible anyway), but because according to East Asian traditions red is the colour of luck. How lucky is it, though, after all, to follow this string–or even worse, what you take for a string–until you find its other end?

According to legend, when the knot-crafting, smiling god Yuè Lǎo showed a boy the girl he was “by string” destined to marry one day, the little boy took up a stone, threw it in the girl’s face and left. However, though, since “escaping destiny is impossible”, in any nook and cranny of this world–let alone when it’s also tied by red string–the fairytale ends of course with marriage as the “happy end”; if anything, the girl’s “lucky” scar on her forehead is the evidence…

So, since in the end everything lies within our minds, everything starts there (and fortunately ends there too), if a time comes when you believe your “Red String” has found its other end, try your luck and tell her/him “姻缘 红線“.

If this is indeed the case, she/he can only speak the password.
If, however, she/he keeps looking at you like “it’s all Chinese to me”, don’t fret.
You’ve probably just escaped from the Minotaur.


Getting existential yet? Check out this arthouse film list to cement the mood or re-invent rose-colored glasses in my hidden blessings’ article at Tiny Buddha ~

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