the mess of it all

Tue, Nov 24, 2020 2-minute read

This journal is proving to be a very effective container for gathering threads. It started as this little woven basket that I’ve stowed away at the corner of my head, and when I find a cool piece of string or yarn, I stick it into my basket. 

It’s rapidly building up through, so now I’m sitting with this quickly amassed mess of differently coloured string, and this mounting sense (dread?) that I’m going to have to eventually go through the patient effort of untangling it. Maybe if I can gather and categorize them into little perfect balls of yarn – reds with reds, greens with greens, checkered with checkered –  I can actually start work with and weave something real with it. 

The problem is, I hate untangling things. I get impatient and irritated by how my necklaces braid together in confounding ways, my headphones intertwining into a tentacular beast of knots and twists, the accumulating mass of cables and extension cords from discontinued electronics, old devices and printers that we keep around in a box just in case. Dealing with them scares me, and I have to resist the brazen impulse to just take a massive pair of scissors and shear through the Gordian knot. 

And the truth is, the threads in my basket are just what my hands can reach and clutch. A momentary gathering. Each of these threads I touch lead elsewhere, into an ocean of greater and greater entanglement.

Slowly and deliciously, I am noticing a more embodied approach – indulgent ways in which I’ve been coalescing the threads that I encounter in my body. My brain says I have to follow a comprehensible thread and pattern, but all my body wants to do is to jump right in the ball pit and swim in the cacophony of textures and colour. I want to dig my hands and feet into the assemblages and mould it like playdoh: let the threads weave into my fingers, bunch satisfyingly into my fists and then fall through the crack of my fingers. I want to let them wrap around my body and slip through the cracks in my skin, the rainbow strings slide through my veins and weave through corded muscle, knot weightily into my stomach and heart and other organs. 

And I emerge this strange spaghetti monster, string dripping down my limbs, sensuously entangled in the mess of it all.