And I will. But often it’s the simplest things that trip me up. Like turning the skein of yarn into a ball. My most recent yarn was in three skeins. When I cut the first knot I obviously did it in the wrong way and instead of a smooth transition into a ball I spent several hours unravelling the yarn.
So I determined to do better with the second skein. I asked help from my sister because she’s good at instructions and fiddling with thing like cling film that gets into a muddle. She managed to untie the knot leaving me with two clear ends.
And I began very well... until halfway through the skein, something happened. It felt like an imp or a kitten had inveigled its way into the middle of the yarn and created a tangle.
Yet again I began the task of unravelling.
The strange thing was that this time, it felt like a meditation. An everyday meditation.
I slowed down deliberately. With the ball in one hand I teased out the knot with my left hand and inch by inch the way for the yarn to unravel became clear.
The yarn is multi-coloured and as I unravelled I followed the changes in the colour that emerged. Felt the texture of the yarn, part wool, part cashmere.
Until I had a complete ball.
Life’s very much like that isn’t it? Often we set off at a smart pace to accomplish something. Then we come to a tangle, a knot in our previously well thought out plan.
Slowing down is good
Do we have the sense to slow down and wait for the tangle to unravel itself? Often not. We’re too keen to be ‘in control’ aren’t we?
We want to be seen as ‘in charge’ when the truth is that our being in charge has nothing to do with the greater plan that the divine has in store for us.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t try to sort things out, only that going at things in a hurry can make things worse. As my Mum used to tell me, 'more haste, less speed. Certainly if I’d tugged at the knots in the yarn, I’d have created a greater and more intractable muddle.
By shaking out the strands it gave me the chance to see where the next obstacle was. To get to the centre of the knot and loosen it. At a distance, even a small distance I saw more clearly.
And a final lesson for me is that for the third skein of yarn still to turn into a ball, will need a different technique.
As often our lives do as we move on.