We had another amazing Thanksgiving with 28 at the tables (three – all in the dining room) on Thursday and 25 at my sister’s on Friday. I have the most amazing extended family that a woman could ask for.
On Sunday my uncle’s flight back to South Dakota was in the late evening, so we went to my sister’s for an early dinner and to say goodbye to Mom who was staying there (and flying out Tuesday). The girls and I would drop my uncle at the airport and head home. My sister had a delicious dinner ready, and before dinner Mom asked me to go get a box from her room that had some tangled necklaces that needed untangling. These are all pieces that a dear friend made, tourmalines, turquoisite and cast silver.
This is my talent.
I have always been able to unknot or untangle even the finest chains. I need reading glasses to do it now, but I have always had an odd facility at this. It is really about touch – what does the tangle feel like, where are the tightest spots, is there any any give anywhere – and vision – what is wrapped around or over what. Essentially, it is an unbraiding.
The tangle above was the essential knot. I easily unpacked the first chains, the ones that clung to the outside, easily wrapped and unwrapped. But this knot proved a bit trickier.
I looked at it a while and then began to unbraid it. There was one chain that bound all the rest into it. It was actually two short chains to the cast silver cartouche. Once it was free, the rest of the chains gave way in a dance of unweaving – over, under, left, right, one chain at a time, one layer at a time, one movement.
I am sure that this is a larger metaphor for our lives, for the days that frustrate us, for the knots we tie ourselves into. Last night, exhausted and sad, I pulled out my copy of the I Ching, a wonderful translation by Brian Browne Walker, and threw a hexagram. So many changing lines – but the essence of the mediation was, as it often is with this translation, to move my ego aside and get back to the path of the sage. Kuan – Contemplation changing to Wei Chi – Before Completion. Essentially – Think before you act.
Like unbraiding the chain knot. Look first. Get a sense of the knot. And then strand by strand move toward simplicity.
I guess that’s the metaphor.