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The Sistren is a collection of stories about seventy-two singular sisters. Every week a new sister’s story is told, accompanied by an original illustration. 

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FINIS

FINIS

Inspect your life. Notice its symmetry. Take note of the timing of events. The way you and your brother met your wives within the same week. The fact that momentous events only happened in late autumn. The rhythmic ebb and flow of relationships. The similar clatter and recovery from every major disaster. 

Even in its most arbitrary moments, your life has cadence. When things seem most random, there is still some underlying pattern that you can uncover if you look hard enough. There is a reason for the popularity of religion. There is a reason we believe in fate.

Finis has worn your life, and deemed it worthy of living.

Finis wears the lives of every one of us from birth to death, checking for balance, counterpoint and poetry. Our failures and our successes, the timing of tragedy and the climax of victory, every one of these is scrutinized and ultimately accepted or shifted. The orchestration of changes is incomprehensible, but if any aspect of our life seems capricious, happenstance or meaningless, Finis takes it upon herself to shift it. All of this before we are born.

And there is ultimately a rubric. Finis tests every moment against a thousand factors. The moments in your life must have certain qualities and cannot have other qualities, or they won’t stand up to her scrutiny, and something will be moved or replaced. Lives are not equalized – we do not each have the same amount of joy and nightmares – but within our unique mingling of pleasure and pain there is a life Finis deemed worth living.

The implications to free will, the nature of time and the nature of meaning are not worth discussing – it is as it is. But know that every stagnant summer, every bee sting, every life-shattering tragedy and bout of impossible luck, has been worn and weighed and judged favorably and allowed to exist. There is a reason for the car crash and the stillbirth. There is an art behind your doomed relationships. There is a poetry to your pain.

 

Illustration by Chris Baily

CLARA

CLARA

FIVE

FIVE