the underneath

The strings are getting twisted and the knots are piling up.  My fingers pick at the threads, trying to tease them apart, but all I can feel are the hard balls that force a staccato stop.  Sometimes I can manage to get a fingernail hold into one and I dig and pull, grasping onto the loose ends, following around the twists of color, but somehow end up tying myself back in again.  It’s a mess.

This, here, is the underneath.  This is the back side of that beautiful tapestry that we’re weaving, the sweep of rainbow glory of my life, my colorful breath, stitched and spun and taken up into a braid upon braid.  But right now?  Right now, it’s tangled and ugly.

But it’s the story that I’m humming to myself as I spin those tazmanian-devil-circles around my kitchen, cutting up food into bite-sized pieces and peeling another banana and picking up the water bottle from the floor for the umpteenth time.   I may have lost track of the narrative, and I may not remember which scene I’m in anymore.  I can’t remember who the good guys are, and where the ogres live.  Because honestly – the Littlest, who just wants his mama, cries when I have to put him down for the two seconds I need to cut the onion, or grab the bag of groceries from the car. (And I’ve almost learned how to chop an onion one handed, because sometimes it’s easier to hold him anyway since he moves at the speed of lightning, don’t you know, and has almost the same effect, too).  And I’m moving as fast as I can to just do the very next thing (and there’s always one more next thing) and I don’t even realize the knots I’ve made out of it all until the end of the day when I collapse on the couch.  (I’m pretty sure my eyes lids fall closed before the little ones’ do).  The underneath is not so pretty.

So while my challenge this year is to see the Story of it all – to hold it, to create it, to tell it, to teach it – right now the only story I can see  has no great character development.  It’s lacking  plot twists and a climax.  There is no great resolution.  But I know it’s only because I’m underneath it all, and I just can’t see it yet.  And it seems like too much work for me to even make some greater sense of this mess.  But, maybe, just maybe, at some point I’ll be able to turn this piece over, feel it’s weight, understand it’s breadth and it’s size.  I’ll get to see it’s edges.  And what about these knots?  The other side of this tangled web of my everyday mess, and theirs, and yours  – it’s all in there, too.  And it will be something to behold.


3 thoughts on “the underneath

  1. I know this feeling so, so well. And while I still feel it — and often — I want to tell you that it does get substantially better in a couple years. I know that’s a paltry bit of hope to hang on to, because it feels like forever… I wish I had some better solution than the passage of time. I just know that I can see a stronger thread of a story line now, as these little people (who’ve had feisty, strong personalities since birth) grow into themselves more, and are not so much like little firecrackers of constant need.
    Hang in there, friend! Your faithfulness in this constantly repeating, mundane work is what is building the foundation for the story. There really is worth in it, even when it feels like your work just gets undone in about five seconds…

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