Threading the Labyrinth is loosely based on the Greek myth of Theseus, Ariadne, and the Minotaur. King Minos’s wife fell in love with a white bull and birthed a half-man, half-bull creature called the Minotaur. The king commissioned the engineer Daedalus to construct an intricate maze to imprison the Minotaur. Daedalus did so well, he had a difficult time finding his own way out. His creation was called a labyrinth.
Every nine years, seven boys and seven girls were sent in to the Minotaur to sate his hunger. The third time, Theseus was among the sacrifice, but King Minos’s daughter, Ariadne, fell in love with Theseus and gave him a ball of thread to unspool as he entered the labyrinth. Theseus went in, killed the Minotaur, returned, and left (without the girl who saved his hide).
It isn’t the Greek myth of Ariadne’s thread per se but the concept of finding one’s way through a labyrinth with a single thread which interests me. Life and writing seem like a labyrinth, with many twists and turns and often not knowing where paths lead. There is an element of mystery to a labyrinth. I’m the sort of curious person who would not hesitate to enter a labyrinth or maze. The unknown and anticipation of discovery intrigue me.
Yet, I’m practical enough to want to take a thread with me. I want to know where I’ve been and how to get back. Moreover, I like the idea those in the labyrinth leaving a trail for others who come behind – sharing knowledge and lessons learned.
So that’s what Threading the Labyrinth means to me – a desire to enter a mysterious place and discover new things, while gathering and sharing knowledge to find your way through
Note: A maze and a labyrinth are not exactly the same thing, although they are often used interchangeably. Both connote a complex path not easily navigated.