Monday, January 29, 2018

knots and skeins and tangled, wandering things

Have you ever decided to wash a small army of fabric scraps, freshen them up for a new project, and pull them out to dry and find THIS?

All those frayed edges, all those charming threads bound together to form a coup of witch knots! I think I spent half an hour untangling them.

Oddly satisfying, though, the untangling. I stood at the washer and thought about the project I wanted to use these protesting scraps for. I thought about the physics behind tangled strings and how in the WORLD they could get in such a mess when I tossed them in light as cloud with nary a knot in sight. I also thought about my writing and the current stagnation it's been swimming in.

My last post was about rooting, about settling in and getting grounded. It urged me to consider my stories and to let go the wandering and dig deep into the echoes, reach upward to get oxygen to those depths. It also got me thinking about this comment from Mary Aalgaard:  "The wandering is becoming the story."

It has. I've let my mind wander, my soul wander, and I've gathered a bit of this and a bit of that along the way. Like in college, I've changed directions and interests time and time again only to find myself back at the computer screen, feeling the birth pains of story and not quite knowing how to get it out.  Nature yells, "PUSH!" but art whispers, "wait." Let it come at it's own time. Don't rush it, don't push it, just let it emerge. The only thing I have to do is show up and let my fingers work at untangling the words as they come.

Story isn't a destination. It's a journey of discovery. It's an uncovering of deep intent and questions and struggles and battles. It's a round-up of issues and fears and a splattering of anger and joy and a long, arduous struggle to the words THE END.

The story is in the struggle, yes, but you have to untangle it first, toss it in the dryer and let the warm air fluff and smooth. Then you can pull out the swatches, one by one, and fold and stack, make ready for ironing. After the ironing you start cutting to shape and size and begin laying out those swatches, one by one, to form the pattern.

Only then can you begin stitching them together.

Have a wonderful Monday!

Wanderingly yours,


  1. It is a journey and one we have to remember to enjoy.

    1. That is so very true. It's through the journey that we gather the thoughts and stories that will weave into the tales we tell. I think we're pressured too much to produce but what we really need to do is write, every day, and enjoy the journey :). Happy Monday!

  2. Such a great analogy. Journeys seem to unravel when I force the path I want, not the one that God has laid out for me.

    1. Thank you so much! You're so right. Anytime I've tried to force something to happen, it doesn't and I'm miserable until I just allow my feet to go back to the path I should have stayed on to begin with. I'm certainly thankful God is patient with us :)

  3. Things do get tangled, but if we don't panic, we can slowly untangle them.

    I have a quilt my aunt made for me years ago that has a few tears now and comes out with those witch knots all the time.

    1. That's the key! Not to panic and find the pattern. That always helps me untangle the knots :)

      My husband's grandmother left us a gorgeous quit topper and it's covered in them. When I have the space, I'm going to add the batting and backing to it. I'm sure I'll be dealing with loads more witch knots when I do!


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