Who Are You Anyway – A Parable from the Red Thread Cafe

Dear Wild Soul,

It is a misty morning here in West Marin. The light is smoke green and you can smell Winter whispering in the grey tones, and Fall calling from the gold tones. I am in a two week journey of inquiry right now. Where every moment I ask myself, what I am thinking about and try to give language to it so I can discover some new ways of moving in the world. In my work it is of the utmost interest and importance to me how we access our OWN information. Sometimes when we hit it head on, we miss it. It may be better to enter in through the door in the heart to catch ourselves by surprise. Yes that is possible. My Muse lives from this space of surprise and courtship. While I was writing a post for my Color of Woman almost-graduate-teachers about how to LIVE FROM your own material, instead of writing an article I ended up writing a story. Go figure. I am an artist after all. Here is a page from that story.

Signed in mist,
Shiloh Sophia

Who Are You Anyway?

A Parable from the Red Thread Café

with Shiloh Sophia

One fine day a young woman

set out on a journey.

She traveled many days,

she was looking for who she was.

She was told it was time to wake up

and create her life. That she was too

old to be a dreamer any longer.

So off she went.

She traveled many days

where almost nothing happened.

She she began to look deeper.

She looked under rock

and inside of wave

and up in the trees

and talked to the birds

and smelled the wild roses.
She found parts of herself everywhere.

She kept asking, But…who am I?

Rock said, you are part of me,

you are ancient and forever.

Wave said, you are me,

you are powerful and ever moving.

Tree said, I am all that is, we are life.

Bluebirds of happiness said,

it doesn’t matter who you are,

let’s fly together and find happiness everywhere.

When she met Wild Rose,

something happened inside of her heart,

but she wasn’t sure what.

Wild Rose said, come closer and enter beauty,

I am you. You are me. I have thorns to guard

off those who would try to take my life.

I have seeds a plenty to make many many rose-filled lives.

I have the scent of heaven in my petals. Come and smell me.

I have the nourishment of the sun for healing if you consume me.

I have the color red to remind us we are made for love,

from love itself.

Each place she went she learned something,

about who she was but there was something

missing that she didn’t have words for.

You know how it is, when you

miss someone and you don’t know who.

That is how she felt, but who she missed

was herself. The self she thought she might be

but didn’t really know for sure, either.

She was neither happy nor sad,

she was just searching, and albeit

somewhat weary with the quest.

She wondered what she would

tell the folks back home about

talking to rocks and birds.

They would say,

You were born this way,

but it is time to grow up.

As she traveled along she gathered things

in her medicine basket. Tiny stories and heart

shaped stones and feathers…thinking

that at some point they would all fit together

and make some kind of sense. But, was a quest

supposed to make sense? She wasn’t even sure

about that.

Each day as she journeyed she found hope,

and often she found loss as well, but always

inspiration. She braided them together to

keep her faith in continuing on her path.

Some days she felt like quitting, stopping.

Going back to where she came from

and doing what was expected of a young

woman entering the world. But.

She didn’t.

She kept going.

She was still a young woman,

but many thought she should marry

or have a good job somewhere.

The way they treated her was

as if time was running out.

She didn’t believe this or understand

it but of course, it caused her

anxiety. Which she was hoping

the quest would get rid of since

it made her clench her jaw together.

She wanted to be free,

wasn’t that an acceptable way

to live in this life? A free woman?

She didn’t know many.

Things didn’t turn out the way she

thought, it is true. She was somewhat’

disillusioned by it… life just wasn’t

what she thought it would be,

when she was a very young girl.

She wondered if other people felt how

she did. Open. Willing. Dismayed.

Hopeful. Anxious. Passionate. Surrendered.

And filled with longing.

To belong? What was that sense she had

anyway of wanting to belong?

One day as she was walking

she happened upon a café

at the edge of the earth where

the road seemed to meet the sky.

She knew it was time for a cup

of tea and some journaling

about everything that was written

in her heart.

The sign said: The Red Thread Café

The Café Between Tomorrow and Today.

She walked in and the little hairs

on her arm stood up to attention.

There was a very old man

and a very old woman standing there

having a conversation behind the counter.

They were so engaged in whatever

it was they were saying they didn’t even

notice her slip to a table in the back of the café.

She noticed then that the OPEN sign

had not been turned yet.

She wasn’t sure what to do

so she became as invisible as

possible with the hopes of hearing

what they were saying

which was more important

than being discovered or

drinking tea.

They were drinking from

white cups with red threads

tied to the handles and talking

with their hands passionately.

“I have a question for you”

he said.

“I have an answer, in the form of question for you.”

she said.

He said: Who are you anyway?”

The young woman wrote

down everything she could

of their conversation.

Everything she needed to know

for this moment

was shared in this conversation.


After some time they looked at her,

and said – Who are you?
She said: I am Wild Rose



Shiloh Sophia

p.s. the Cafe between tomorrow and today was something that my former husband and I used to say all the time. Each day we had cafe – as if it was the most important thing in the whole world.