Traditionally, the Moirae, more commonly known as the Fates, were imagined as old. They spun the stories of the world to come, each story fresh, even if not new. Today, when, grey-haired, I begin my official writing career, I find myself wondering how someone will describe the stories I spin. If I were a young author, the phrase “fresh, young voice” would spill out easily, if tritely. They, whoever they are, can’t use “young” with me, so perhaps they can say “fresh, new voice” – too glib, and redundant.
I hope they wouldn’t say “tired, old voice” though “tired” is an underrated quality. If it didn’t have the grey tinge it does in today’s cultures of positive energy, I would claim it proudly. Tired means worked, and worked means stories can come from all those elements of my being that have been active – my fingers, my feet, my womb, my brain, the neurons in my gut, the ineffables of my heart. But I am too afraid to call my stories “tired, old stories,” and I don’t want them to either, because they won’t understand “tired” as I do (the “tired” of my mother who woke up at four, you know the story; the “tired” of the man who cycles 10 miles (to work) before dawn and (home) at dusk each day, which you think you know but most of you, most of us, don’t really, not in the degeneration of our flesh, the worry in our gut).
So, now, when I google Moirae, I find many drawings of prepubescent spinners. And, indeed, they too spin the stories of the world to come, each story fresh, even if not new. Moirae are the form of original storytelling, the story constructing the Moira, whatever her age (and gender?). This thought leads me to a happy new phrase, “fresh, old voice” that describes the Moirae of old and the parts of their tattered mantles I want to wrap around my name before it spouts its stories at you.