Friday, August 12, 2016

Slender Threads of Connection

By  Kerstin Zettmar

We never really know what life has in store for us, do we?

A few years ago I was in Sweden, spending the holidays with my family. My brother and his wife had just remodeled the house. They told me one of my paintings no longer fit the decor of their living room, and asked if I wanted it back. It was a large painting about reincarnation I had done when I was 20 years old. It was too large to fit in a suitcase. I told my brother it would not be practical to bring to the USA, but asked if he could please store it for now.

Later, when we arrived at the house of my parents, they asked me and my brother to go through the attic and discard things we no longer needed or wanted, and to take the rest with us, as they were clearing things out.

 Kerstin Zettmar and Lennart
I found a small wooden box of mine, containing photos of boys I had liked through the years. I was surprised to see three photos of Lennart, I man I dated only for six months when I was 21. I wondered how his life had turned out and what he was up to now, some 25 years later.

When I returned to the USA, I had, as usual, gazillions of e-mails to sort through. Guess if I was surprised when one of them happened to be from my former flame, Lennart! He said he had Googled me, found my website and was happy to see I was still doing art. A pencil drawing I had given him still hung on his wall, but his favorite painting of all times was the one I had made about reincarnation! He told me he still thought about it from time to time. I told him as chance would have it, it had just become available, and I asked if he was interested in purchasing it. He responded he probably could not afford it. I gave him a price he could not refuse, and three months later when I was back in Sweden, we met for coffee and made the transaction.

We had a lovely time catching up and I was proud to see what a good man and father he had turned out to be. When we dated he was a nice and handsome guy, but with severe difficulties verbalizing and expressing his more tender emotions. Now he was much more open, and he talked about how his son, who was born without a brain stem, had been instrumental in opening his heart.

 Having a disabled child is not something you would ever wish on anyone, and yet here it was obvious that the experience of that had cracked and shattered the shell around Lennart. He was broken open, and thereby more available to the whole world, and everyone in it, including me.

 Later, I thought about how we do not always have a choice in what life throws us. If you scratch the surface of every life, you usually encounter some serious challenges and heartache. 

Adlous Huxley said; “Experience is not just what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you.” 

Lennart could have turned bitter, but he did not. I was going through some difficulties of my own at the time and this was something I needed to hear, see and realize.

a 3D rendition of Indra's Net
In the Vedic Mythology the symbol of interconnectedness is Indra’s Net.  The story goes that the lord of all gods, Indra, commissioned and artist to make a net that would encompass the whole universe. When finished, Indra placed a jewel at each injunction of the net, making a huge network of jewels. Each jewel had many facets that reflected all the other jewels in the net. When a change occurred in one of the jewels it was reflected in all the other jewels in small and large ways.

 I believe we are interconnected like that. Slender threads of fate run through time and space and tug at us in invisible ways to step this way or that way, to walk down that street at that exact moment, or gives us the impulse to pick up the phone or send and e-mail, for a special connection to happen, where something of value can be shared. That’s a different kind of world wide web that we are all part of.

Kerstin Zettmar
All this reaffirmed my sense of how we are all connected.  Robert Johnson, the  Jungian psychologist and author, talks about the slender threads of fate. 

Kerstin is an artist, healer and teacher. Discover her and her art at, and in Mind Key's upcoming anthology, Tempest, Life Upturned.

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