Tangled Threads

by Dawn W

Driving away from church this afternoon, I reached for my phone to call my mother. It’s an urge that hasn’t happened in a good while, so it caught me by surprise. You see, I wanted my mother because I was crying I was crying because my dear friend Dixon, who has been essential in getting me through Mom’s death, is moving to North Carolina. Tomorrow. In my sadness over losing him, I was reminded of the sadness of losing my mother. But if I had never lost my mother; I wouldn’t have the depth of friendship with Dixon that I do, so…

Tangled. Life is tangled. And I absolutely hate it. I like my fiction to be tangled. Stories with plot twists and unexpected connections; stories that aren’t easily unraveled; these are the best stories. Real life, however, should be linear. Organized. A equals B and B equals C and A equals C and everything makes sense. It’s organized and color-coded. Simple. Neat. Completely unrealistic.

We tend to think of life like a giant line of dominoes. Each one standing precariously, knocked over by the one before it. Life event A causes the first domino to fall, and in succession, the others fall. In order and one at a time. Instead, life is more like time. The Doctor (bastion of wisdom that he is) describes time as “a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.” It’s not linear, it’s not subjective, and it makes absolutely no sense.

The threads of life are tangled. The good comes from the bad comes from the good ad infinitum. Some days, we can’t tell the difference. Most days, I’m not sure there is a difference. The world is a knotted place. But it’s the ropes with knots that help us hang on. It’s the ropes with knots that keep boats from drifting. It’s the ropes with knots that keeps a team of climbers connected.

So, when I get a glimpse of the knots and tangles as I did today, may I not be frustrated. May I not get lost in trying to unravel it. May I welcome the glorious mess that is life in a fallen world and hang on to the knots for dear life.