We played Tapestry yesterday in Seattle with a small group that included a number of my family members as well as friends and a couple new people. Here's what I realized: Tapestry is an extraordinary tool for conversation.
Every time we've played Tapestry the game has lasted about an hour, but people don't leave after an hour, they stay and talk. By that time, players have shared and laughed and listened to such an extent that the conceit of the game is no longer needed. People want to, at that point, follow up on stories that were told earlier in the afternoon, follow tangents, and listen to stories as a group instead of one on one. They stay. And they talk.
If there was any thread that stood out from this edition of Tapestry, it would have to be the theme of familial love. Fierce love for children, gratitude for thoughtful and timely notes from fathers, family vacations that shaped adult-hoods, unexpected double births, and student concerts that leave no dry eyes.
Because this edition of Tapestry included members of my family, some of the stories shared were ones I've heard before. (When your grandparents are in Eastern Europe and miss the telegram announcing the birth of you and your twin sister because they followed a mysterious line and ended up seeing Salome at the opera house for 75¢, that's a story that you will hear again and again.) But this time the familiar stories felt different, included aspects that I'd never heard before, were illuminated in new ways through the artistic interpretations of the players who had never heard them before.
Every edition of Tapestry so far has included stories that are heart breakingly/heart strengthening-ly poignant. They've also included stories that are ridiculous in their silliness.
The art that remains, the poetry, the comics, the drawings, the graphs (!) aren't really the point. Sure, they're fun (so much fun!). But by and large they are inside jokes to the people who created them, both the story contributor and the story collector. But the Tapestry that remains...this wall of shared connection. Man. That's just extraordinary.